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Ukrainian-Amercian military exercise Sea Breeze 2011 commences in Odesa
17:59 / 06.06.2011

Ukrainian-Amercian military exercise Sea Breeze 2011 has started in Odesa.

The opening ceremony has taken place today 6 June, at the Odesa Officers’ Palace.

At a press conference after the opening ceremony, Ukrainian Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Maksimov said that this year's exercises will be held from 6 to 18 June. Their subject is Planning and Carrying out International Peacekeeping Operations. The purpose is to practice the actions taken by the multinational headquarters and forces during the planning and conduct of international peacekeeping operations according to the standards of the Alliance.

According to the commander, Sea Breeze 2011will consist of four stages: I stage — deploying forces; II stage — basic training; III stage — conducting peacekeeping multinational force; IV stage — the curtailment of forces, summing up. In total, the exercises involv 13 countries (Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Britain, Georgia, Denmark, Macedonia, Moldova, Germany, Turkey, USA, Ukraine, Sweden).

Today 6 June, Ukrainian Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Maksimov has stated the doors of Sea Breeze are open for our Russian colleagues.

“Firstly, I want to emphasize that the Ukrainian Navy has been fruitfully cooperating with the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The fact that the Russian- Ukrainian exercise Fairway of Peace 2011 conducted in late May in Sevastopol broadly involved the forces of the two fleets is another proof of that”, said the admiral.

“A formal invitation to take part in military exercises Sea Breeze 2011was timely sent to the Russian party. However there has not been any confirmation from them, and why the Russian party decided not to participate in this training is probably not the question to be answered by see me”, said Viktor Maksimov.

“I want to add that on May 27, during a joint summarizing conference on Fairway of Peace 2011, in my speech I reiterated that the doors of Sea Breeze were open for our Russian colleagues. By the way, in 1998 and 2001, the Russian Black Sea Fleet took part in the exercises Sea Breeze”, he added.

INFORMATION: The Ukrainian-American military exercise Sea Breeze series has been held since 1997. Started with the purpose of achieving inter-compatibility of Ukrainian and US fleets as well as fleets of other countries which have joined the NATO Partnership for the Sake of the World Programme. The basic purpose is to increase alertness of the Navies of Military Forces of Ukraine.