Svitlana Shatalova meets with NATO delegation: "Joint training brings us closer to the high standards of the Alliance"
In Odessa, a friendly visit is being made by the Canadian and Spanish frigates, which are part of the 2nd NATO Standing Naval Group. Deputy Head of the Regional State Administration Svitlana Shatalova met with their commanders, ambassadors of the two countries and the head of the North Atlantic Alliance representation in Ukraine.
"For Ukraine, the strategic partnership with NATO is an integral part of the integration course. The very presence of the ships in the Black Sea and the conduct of joint exercises is a sign of stability and security in the Odessa region ", - said the deputy chairman of the Odessa Regional State Administration Svetlana Shatalova.
Note that "Santa Maria" and "Toronto" moored to the berth of the Odessa Sea Terminal April 1. Together with Ukrainian ships, they will take part in mini-exercises such as PASSEX. Svetlana Shatalova added that for the whole of Ukraine it is an important part of interaction with the North Atlantic Alliance.
"The presence of these ships is a powerful signal of our solidarity with Ukraine. As you know, in response to Russia's aggressive actions, NATO strengthens its presence in the Black Sea within the overall strengthening of its containment and defense forces. You can see it at sea, above it and on the ground. Ultimately, NATO's practical assistance to Ukraine is very diverse, and part of it is carried out directly in the Odessa region, "said Alexander Vinnikov, the head of the NATO mission in Ukraine.
The deputy chairman of the Odessa Regional State Administration also stressed that the return of prisoners of war to Ukrainian sailors is now crucial. In turn, Alexander Vinnikov confirmed that NATO will continue to exert pressure on Russia to demand their immediate release.
Recall that in the summer of last year, the Odessa Regional Administration met with the command of the NATO Naval Forces. The parties then summed up the results of the Sea Breeze 2012 multinational exercises and confirmed their intention to enhance interoperability and cooperation.
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