The Ukrainian Navy has withdrawn from the multinational military exercise Sea Breeze-2009, influenced by the political standstill of the country.

The US Armed Forces European Command (EUCOM) and the US Sixth Fleet has informed Ukraine’s defence ministry that foreign military units had to cancel their participation in Sea Breeze-2009 exercise.

This is a traditional exercise happening annually since 1997 on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast and at sea as well as at the Shirokyi Lan base in Mykolayiv Oblast.

The joint and combined naval ground, and air exercise, led and financed by the US, is designed to enhance multinational interoperability, particularly with Ukrainian forces.

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The exercise was intended to include practice of anti-piracy operations by the Ukrainian Navy as a major new element in 2009.

Sea Breeze-2009 was also aborted in 2006 for lack of parliamentary approval.