STRANGERS IN THE BLACK SEA

May 4 in the Romanian port of Constanta opened the annual multi-national naval exercises NATO Sea Shield 18 which will last a week and end on May 11.
The headquarters of the Romanian Navy reported that these exercises are the largest military maneuvers of the North Atlantic Alliance on the south and east flank since the beginning of this year. To participate in the Sea Shield 18, the ships of the 2nd permanent naval group of NATO (SNMG-2) the Brit-ish Duncan missile destroyer and the frigates Victoria (Naval Forces of Spain), Bayern (German Navy), “Gemlyk” (Turkish Navy), entered the Sea Shield 18 as well as several smaller ships.
Total, 21 combat ships, 10 planes, a submarine and 2,300 troops from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are involved in military maneuvers.
The exercises quantify the British military presence: in addition to the Duncan missile destroyer, London sent three Typhoon fighters to Romania, which on the first day of the exercise “distinguished themselves” by intercept-ing the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft in neutral airspace.
Officially, the goal of the exercises is to combat asymmetric threats in the air, under water and at sea in a scenario based on an imaginary geopolitical situation. According to Russian experts, NATO maneuvers in the Black Sea area are an attempt to probe the nerves of Russia and force it to abandon the interceptions of the alliance aircraft near the coast of the Crimea. “In the Black Sea, the NATO group is working out tasks not only on defense, but also on strikes. Naturally, in this case it is the Crimea and other Black Sea bases, “warns military expert Yuri Knutov.
The Black Sea Fleet of Russia closely monitors NATO’s military maneu-vers with the help of aviation, naval escorts, and over-the-horizon and radar stations.
It is noteworthy that the exercises “Marine Shield-2018” are held simul-taneously with the military exercises “Yozh-2018”, which started on May 2 in Estonia with the participation of the Armed Forces of the member countries and partners of the North Atlantic Alliance. Conducting simultaneously inten-sive maneuvers in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea basin, NATO probes the Russian borders on the flanks of the Baltic-Black Sea lintel.

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