OSLO, May 30. /TASS/. The joint Russian-Norwegian sea rescue exercise, Barents-2018, has begun at the two states’ maritime border in the Varangerfjord area in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Coastal Administration said on its website.
The main phase of the drills, to be directed by Norway this year, will take place on Wednesday. According to the scenario, Russian rescuers will assist their Norwegian colleagues in a search and rescue mission for a ship in distress.
The sides will also train joint response to an oil spill in the Barents Sea.
The Northern Fleet earlier said it would be represented by the SB-523 rescue tugboat, the Elbrus ice-capable logistics support vessel, an Il-38 antisubmarine warfare plane able to carry out search-and-rescue operations, and a Mi-8 helicopter.
The Barents exercise is the sole search-and-rescue drills held by Russia and Norway in the Arctic annually.
The maneuvers are held under the Russian-Norwegian intergovernmental agreement of October 4, 1995 on cooperation in searching for missing people and people in distress in the Barents Sea. The exercise is directed by the Russian and the Norwegian sides by turns.