The naval exercises, dubbed Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), the largest ones held by NATO in the region, kicked off in the Polish northern port city of Szczecin, the Polish Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the US European Command (EUCOM) announced that more than 50 aircraft and 50 ships and submarines would participate in the BALTOPS.

“More than 40 warships from 14 countries would participate in the drills after arriving in Szczecin on June 1-2,” the statement said.

According to the statement, 12 NATO states, including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as two non-alliance countries namely Finland and Sweden.

Poland will send eight warships, including a submarine, for participation in the military exercises, the country’s Defense Ministry added.

BALTOPS will last up to June 16 and will be concluded in the German port city of Kiel.

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