Friday, February 04, 2011

Defense: Ukraine to Host International Military Exercises Under the Auspices of the US

Ukraine and the US have agreed on conducting military exercises in Ukraine, according to the Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Colonel-General Hryhoriy Pedchenko. The exercises will feature "Sea Breeze", "Rapid Trident" as well as three other sets of drills.

Ukraine has reached the agreement with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in late January in Brussels. "We have agreed on the road map for conducting the multinational exercises under the auspices of the US. The drills will feature "Sea Breeze", "Rapid Trident" etc. The set of five different exercises will take place on the territory of Ukraine", stated Pedchenko.

By the means of conducting the exercises, Ukraine is planning to broaden its cooperation with a number of countries, not only the US. "The exercises are originally Ukrainian-American; however, I have invited our neighbors to participate: Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians, and Russians", said the Ukrainian Chairman. He also stressed, that the main goal of the training is to "raise the level of confidence in each other" (speaking of participating countries. - Editor).

"Sea Breeze" drills have been conducted in Ukraine since 1997. These exercises traditionally involve the troops of NATO countries on rotational basis.

In 2009, the Ukrainian parliament refused to approve international military exercises on Ukrainian soil. However, in 2010 the Ukrainian MPs voted in favor of the NATO drills taking place in the country.

The 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) has become the formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations.

Source: Worldwide News Ukraine