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Russia tracking Italian navy frigate in Black Sea as Ukraine, NATO drill
Updated 18:11, 01-Jul-2021
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The F-265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu corvette of the Romanian Naval Forces arrives in Odesa for the Exercise Sea Breeze 2021, June 27, 2021. /CFP

The F-265 Contraamiral Horia Macellariu corvette of the Romanian Naval Forces arrives in Odesa for the Exercise Sea Breeze 2021, June 27, 2021. /CFP

Russia is tracking an Italian navy frigate in the Black Sea, Russian media reported on Thursday, citing the country's defense ministry, as Ukraine and NATO countries held military drills in the same wider area.

"The forces and means of the Black Sea fleet are controlling the actions of the Virginio Fasan CGN frigate of the Italian navy, which entered the Black Sea on July 1, 2021," the ministry was quoted as saying by Sputnik.

The multinational naval maneuvers led by Ukraine and the U.S. in the Black Sea, known as Sea Breeze, started on June 28 and will last until July 10 with 32 countries participating this year, involving about 5,000 military personnel from NATO and other allies, and over 30 ships and 40 aircraft.

Aircraft fly in formation during Sea Breeze 2021 multinational military exercise in Mykolayiv Region, Ukraine, June 30, 2021. /Reuters

Aircraft fly in formation during Sea Breeze 2021 multinational military exercise in Mykolayiv Region, Ukraine, June 30, 2021. /Reuters

Earlier on Thursday, Russia's Black Sea fleet said it had carried out a live-fire training exercise in the region. 

Moscow has previously warned it's monitoring the naval exercises in the Black Sea, near where a British vessel's presence sparked outrage in Moscow last week.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson last week said the drills are aimed at causing "endless" destabilization near the Russian borders and transferring weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

Read more:

Russia 'monitoring' NATO military exercise in Black Sea, near Crimea

(With input from agencies)

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