Russian navy conducts Black Sea training amid NATO naval exercise in same area

Russian navy conducts Black Sea training amid NATO naval exercise in same area
# 13 April 2019 09:40 (UTC +04:00)

Russian warships entered the Black Sea for carrying out warfare and training tasks during NATO's Sea Shield naval drills, the press service of the Russian Black Sea Fleet said in a statement on Saturday, ONA reports citing Sputnik.

"The warships of the Black Sea Fleet left their home base to enter the fleet group in the Black Sea. The detachment of ships sailed to predefined areas where it will control and monitor the situation underwater, above the surface and in the air", the statement read.

It added that the group subsequently returned to its home base and began carrying out its routine exercises "against the backdrop of the NATO Sea Shield 2019 drills which were good support for the Black Sea Fleet forces in practicing their warfare skills in real-world conditions", the statement pointed out.

The Russian Defence Ministry said Monday that the Russian Black Sea Fleet had put its vessels on duty over possible emergency situations related to NATO's Sea Shield 2019 naval drills.

"In order to promptly respond to possible abnormal situations, the Black Sea Fleet is carrying out a set of measures to monitor the actions of NATO ships. Reconnaissance ships, naval strike groups, Bastion and Bal coastal missile systems and naval aviation aircraft have been put on duty in the designated areas of the Black Sea", the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The Romanian-led NATO drills were carried out in the Black Sea on 5-12 April.

According to NATO, the exercise "involved more than 20 ships and crews from Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey, as well as Maritime Patrol Aircraft from the United States and Turkey".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said earlier that increase of NATO activities in the Black Sea entails risks to the security of the entire region.

"Our positions are clear: any NATO efforts in the Black Sea region are senseless from a military point of view. They will not strengthen the security of either the region or NATO itself, but will be associated with additional military risks,” the diplomat said.