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Ukraine takes part in Sea Breeze multinational naval exercise

by Martin Fornusek September 12, 2023 2:51 PM 2 min read
The opening ceremony of the Sea Breeze 23-3 "Storm Breeze" exercises in Romania, Sept. 11, 2023. (Source: Romanian Navy)
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Ukrainian military personnel take part in the Sea Breeze multinational naval exercises, launched on Sept. 11 and organized by Romania and the U.S.

The Sea Breeze 23.3 "Storm Breeze" drills are scheduled to last until Sept. 15 and will also involve forces of Bulgaria, France, the U.K., and Turkey. They will be conducted under the leadership of the Romanian Navy.

The main task of the exercises is to strengthen the interoperability in the removal of explosives, namely drifting sea mines, in order to ensure freedom of navigation.

The Sea Breeze 23-3 takes place amid heightened tensions in the Black Sea region. Since its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Russia has escalated its strikes against Ukraine's ports, grain stockpiles, and agricultural infrastructure, often in the vicinity of Romania's borders.

Following a drone strike against the Ukrainian Danube port of Izmail earlier this month, Bucharest confirmed that what appeared to be fragments of a drone have been found on Romanian soil.

NATO reacted that it saw no indication of a deliberate attack from the Russian side against Romania but said it would keep monitoring the situation.

Bucharest demands end to Russian attacks after finding drone debris on Romanian territory
Romania’s Foreign Ministry summoned the head of the Russian mission in the country to answer for how Russian drone debris ended up in Romanian territory on Sept. 9.

Heavy mining is yet another factor destabilizing the security situation in the Black Sea region.

Security expert and retired naval officer Pavlo Lakiichuk said in a comment for Krym.Realii that the danger posed by the sea mines has risen considerably in the Black Sea since the start of the full-scale invasion, particularly in the northwestern region.

Liquidation of mines, Lakiichuk added, is one of the areas where NATO can demonstrate how it can contribute to Ukraine's and international security without crossing any potential red lines with Russia.

The drills will involve high-speed boats, a minesweeper, reconnaissance aircraft, marines, and other military equipment and personnel.

Sea Breeze exercises have been traditionally held on Ukrainian territory and organized by Ukraine and the U.S. since 1997.

Military intelligence: Ukraine regains control of oil rigs in Black Sea
The multi-phase operation involved a battle between Ukrainian special forces on boats and a Russian SU-30 fighter jet, Ukraine’s Military Intelligence said.
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