NATO has held a series of naval exercises in the Black Sea off the Romanian coast, ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’ annexation of Crimea.
Warships of from six NATO countries – the US, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Italy and Romania – took part just 300 kilometers of Crimea.
The alliance stresses no additional plans were after Russia increased its Russian military presence in this region.
However NATO is sending a serious message by not cancelling the exercises, euronews’ Andrei Beketov reports.
The Romanian air force work with the vessels to simulate anti-air and anti-submarine warfare. The whole operation is led from the USS Vicksburg.
“Obviously the situation here is very unfortunate. And so coming here demonstrate that three NATO allies that we have in the Black Sea – Turkey Bulgaria and Romania – are very valuable members of the alliance. And its just as important that we come and train with them,” said US Rear Admiral Brad Williamson.
The exercise sees a Russian jet flying over at low altitude.
Russian air and naval approaches are closely monitored by ships radars and sonars.
Moscow has accused NATO of “war games”, saying that they could have serious consequences for the settlement of the Ukraine conflict.
Last week, Russia’s defence ministry said it had begun large scale military exercises.