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SOFIA, BULGARIA — Ukraine has joined two weeks of multinational military exercises that involve troops from 12 NATO member and partner nations, and demonstrate that cooperation continues between the alliance and the crisis-torn former Soviet republic.
The drills, dubbed Saber Guardian, began Friday at the Novo Selo training facility in eastern Bulgaria and will include some 700 troops from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States, as well as representatives from NATO.
The exercise, planned before the current East-West standoff over Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, is aimed at increasing regional flexibility, preserving and enhancing NATO interoperability, and facilitating multinational training, U.S. Army Europe spokesman Jesse Granger said.
It follows joint exercises by U.S., Romanian and Bulgarian naval forces in the Black Sea.