Russia truce in Ukraine on the brink after military drills spark furious reaction
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The government in Ukraine has accused the Russian backed foes of multiple violations amid the conflict that is now in its sixth year. Lasting peace is dependant on Kiev’s acceptance of Russian annexed Crimea and of the continued armament of separatists in the east of the vast country. In a show of strength Washington and Keiv have concluded joint military exercises.
The so-called Exercise Sea Breeze was held with six other nations and was focused in the Black Sea region.
The official Exercise Sea Breeze 2020 Twitter account run by the US and Ukraine read: “In Sea Breeze 1998, Russian Black Sea Fleet was represented by two warships and marines.”
The Twitter account spoke about Russia’s destabilisation of the region.
It added: “As Russian actions destabilised the region, ironically, greater international presence in the BlackSea has resulted in dozens of other nations joining Exercise Sea Breeze in solidarity!”
The military drills were part of the US 6th Fleet’s commitment to security and stability in the Black Sea.
The six nations that backed the US and Ukraine included Bulgaria, Georgia, Norway, Romania, Spain, and Turkey.
A defence analyst spoke to Newsweek, they said: “Exercise Sea Breeze existed before the Russian-Georgian and the Russian-Ukrainian conflicts.
“It was meant to be an exercise that had all Black Sea countries to include Russia working together in, but Russia unprovoked invaded Georgia and then Ukraine.”
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“How do you exercise with someone who punches you in the gut and steals a part of your land, and is still committing atrocities regardless of what EU, UN, or anyone else outside of Russian?”
To counter US and Ukrainian exercises, the Russian military’s Black Sea Fleet conducted its own manoeuvres.
On Monday, the fleet held exercises involving Bal and Bastion anti-ship missile systems.
They also tested their A-222E Bereg coastal mobile artillery system.
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Speaking to Newsweek, Navy Commander Kyle Raines said: “US 6th Fleet is aware of Russian units monitoring US units in the Black Sea.
“All interactions were safe and in accordance with maritime custom as expected.”
The US has been quick to point out that both military drills from Russia and the US/ Ukraine would not have any impact on each other.
Navy Vice Admiral Eugene Black last week said: “The Russians have every right to exercise their forces and train, as we do”.
He added: “It’s international waters.
“The United States Navy operates there, as do the navies of many other nations, peaceably, and doing the things that navies do in exercises like Sea Breeze.
“We all abide by the Montreux Convention.
“We also abide by the International Law of the Sea.”
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