Six NATO ships arrived in Odessa on July 23 and will be open to visits by residents and guests of the city on July 24 and 25.
At the joint press-conference with NATO Commander Frank Maginsky and the Head of the NATO Representation to Ukraine, Alexander Vinnikov, the Commander of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) Boudewijn Boots explained that the presence of the ships is part of the Alliance’s efforts to strengthen its partnership with Ukraine.
"This is the third visit of the group of NATO ships in Ukraine after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014 that demonstrates Ukraine’s support as an important partner and founder of the Partnership for Peace program. This visit also shows NATO’s commitment to address a tense situation in the Black Sea region. We will continue to strengthen our partnership with Ukraine that serves the interests of both allies and partners,” Boots said.
He added that the NATO ships will be in Odessa until July 26 and then exercises with Ukraine Naval Forces will take place in July. "These will be naval exercises of the PASSEX type aimed at strengthening our partnership in the Sea, our mutual understanding and complementarity,” he said.