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Ukraine Opens International Black Sea Exercise

(RFE/RL) KYIV, July 8, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian officials say Sea Breeze 2007, a multinational naval exercise, will start on July 9 in the Black Sea, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported.

Naval and land forces from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, and Turkey will join Ukrainian and U.S. forces in the two-week-long exercise.

In 2006, Sea Breeze exercises were cancelled because of protests by pro-Russian groups.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko told RFE/RL today that Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies will not permit the protesters to block the exercise this year, and that the law must be upheld.