Russia holds surprise military exercise in Black Sea

About 7,000 Russian troops will participate in the exercise.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered the Russian Army to carry out a large-scale naval exercise in the Black Sea.

Mr. Putin ordered the surprise drill involving 36 warships, an unspecified number of aircraft and some 7,000 troops at 4 a.m. (midnight GMT).

Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying that under international law, Russia did not have to seek permission from its neighbours for military drills involving fewer than 7,000 troops.

Ships at the Novorossiysk naval base in south-western Russian and the Sevastopol base in Ukraine, which is leased by the Russian navy took part in the drill.

(dpa/NAN)

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