Russia-NATO naval drill called off after US, UK boycott

August 14th, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

RIA Novosti
Vladivostok (Russia), Aug 14 (RIA Novosti) A Russia-NATO naval exercise in the Sea of Japan has been cancelled after the US and Britain refused to send their warships, a spokesman for Russia’s Pacific fleet said Thursday. Russian, French, British and US ships were to take part in the exercise, codenamed FRUKUS, off the Russian coast from Aug 15 to Aug 23.

A Pentagon official earlier said the US would stay away from the drill over the South Ossetia-Georgia conflict.

Washington and London have been critical of Moscow’s actions during the conflict, which erupted Aug 8 when Georgia attacked Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia.

During the subsequent counter operation to expel Georgian troops from south Ossetia, Moscow sent some 10,000 troops and several hundred armoured vehicles into the area.

The exercises were launched in 1988 as a vehicle for dialogue between the Soviet Union, Britain and the US. They involve training scenarios both at sea and ashore.

France formally joined the group in 2003, and the name of the exercise was changed to FRUKUS.

The exercises typically involve around 1,000 personnel from the four countries.

FRUKUS-2007 was held in the North Atlantic.
RIA Novosti

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