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  Friday, August 23, 2019
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Russia and Turkey have started a joint naval exercise in the Black Sea
Russia and Turkey have started a joint naval exercise in the Black Sea, a naval spokesman said Tuesday. "Warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the Turkish Navy will carry out a number of tactical missions, practice operations to spot and rescue people and transfer cargoes at sea and inspect intruding vessels in the central area of the Black Sea," the spokesman said. The representative said that after the maneuvers were completed, the ships would head for the fleet's home port of Sevastopol in the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea, where they would arrive on March 1. According to the source, the maneuvers also include training in the detection of short-range anti-ship missiles. The aim of the exercise is to prepare Russian and Turkish sailors for an international operation, Black Sea Harmony, proposed by the Turkish Navy. In March 2004, Turkey proposed a new security initiative, Black Sea Harmony, as a move to improve communication and shadow suspicious ships. However, some countries consider it an attempt to maintain Turkey's dominance in the area by preventing NATO from extending its Operation Active Endeavor, which has similar objectives in the Mediterranean, into the Black Sea. Turkey has recently invited other littoral states to participate in Black Sea Harmony. During the current two-day exercise, the sailors will practice navigation, monitoring commercial ships and observing the situation at sea and in the air.
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