MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. All military maneuvers that Russian naval ships conduct in the Black Sea during drills comply with international law and trade routes are not affected, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
The Russian presidential spokesman thus commented on Kiev’s claims that the maneuvers were blocking trade routes in the Black Sea.
"All military maneuvers and deployments by Russian ships in the Black Sea are conducted in strict compliance with international maritime law," the spokesman stressed.
When asked about whether this meant that the combat ships were not blocking the trade routes, the Kremlin press secretary replied: "No [they are not blocking]."
As the Russian Black Sea Fleet reported, the naval task force made up of the large amphibious assault ships Korolyov, Minsk, Kaliningrad, Pyotr Morgunov, Georgy Pobedonosets and Olenegorsky Gornyak has completed its inter-fleet transit around Europe. The Russian naval ships are currently arriving at the Black Sea Fleet’s main naval base, the port city of Sevastopol.
In compliance with the 2022 plan of the Russian Armed Forces’ training, a series of naval drills is being held in January-February this year in all the areas of responsibility of the Navy’s fleets under the general command of Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov.
The naval maneuvers are focused on measures by the Navy and the Aerospace Force to protect Russia’s national interests in the World Ocean and counter military threats to Russia from the direction of seas and oceans.
The drills cover the seas adjacent to Russian territory and also operationally important areas of the World Ocean. Separate drills will run in the Mediterranean, North and Okhotsk Seas, in the northeastern Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.
Overall, the massive drills will bring together over 140 warships and support vessels, more than 60 aircraft, 1,000 items of military hardware and about 10,000 troops.