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Ukraine-NATO naval drills may be postponed until August — source

July 07, 2014, 11:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The decision might be taken “to underline the alliance’s position, primarily the United States, based allegedly on their non-interference in events in southeast Ukraine”
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NATO ships (archive)

NATO ships (archive)

© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

MOSCOW, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Naval exercises codenamed Sea Breeze 2014 involving naval forces of Ukraine and NATO initially planned in July may be delayed to August if parties to naval drills agree on this, a military and diplomatic source in Moscow told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

“According to available reports, Ukraine and NATO reached an agreement on possible delay of naval drills Sea Breeze 2014 from July to August,” the source said.

He noted that this decision might be taken “to underline the alliance’s position, primarily the United States, based allegedly on their non-interference in events in southeast Ukraine.” “The sides hope that a military operation in this region of the country will have been finalized by the beginning of August.”

NATO warships are planned to visit Ukrainian ports, particularly Odessa, at naval drills, the source said.

Meanwhile, a grouping of NATO warships led by Italian missile-carrying frigate Avier has entered the Black Sea for naval exercises Breeze 2014 jointly with Bulgaria at the end of the previous week. Later on the same day Russian Defense Ministry stated that Black Sea Fleet naval forces had started war games involving about 20 warships and vessels, more than 20 warplanes and helicopter gunships, marines and coastal artillery guns. The drill area embraces the whole sea area of the Black Sea, Russian military agency stated.

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