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Black Sea littoral states conclude joint naval drill

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MOSCOW (BNS): A joint naval drill by Black Sea littoral states involving warships and frigates has concluded in the Black Sea.

Warships from Bulgaria, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine took part in the 'Blackseafor' naval drill which began on April 9 and concluded on April 27.

Over 50 drills were conducted during the exercise, including joint operations on tactical maneuvering, combat conduct by surface ships, air defence and anti-terrorist activity, a Black Sea fleet commander was quoted as saying by Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The main focus was on maintaining stability and peace in the region, further cooperation and strengthening of mutual understanding among the Black Sea countries, Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Georgi Motyev said.

The warships that took part in the naval drill included Russia's Caesar Kunikov Ropucha-I class large landing ship, Romania's Macelariu corvette, Turkey's Yildirim frigate, Bulgaria's frigate Verni and Ukraine's command ship Slavutych, the report said.

The Blackseafor Black Sea Naval Co-operation Task Group was formed in 2001 under the leadership of Turkey. Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia are its other members.

This year's drill was commanded under the Bulgarian Navy.

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