epa06177419 The British HMS Duncan at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, 01 September 2017. The Type 45 destroyer is currently leading NATO’s Standing Maritime Naval Group 2 (SNMG2), providing reassurance and deterrence in the Mediterranean, as well as commanding NATO’s counter migration activity in the Aegean. For the next 12 months, the Royal Navy is commanding two of the four NATO Standing Naval Forces, demonstrating the UK’s commitment to and leadership within the alliance. EPA-EFE/YANNIS KOLESIDIS

Ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are monitoring the British destroyer and the Canadian frigate that entered the Black Sea waters on July 2, the Russian National Defense Management Center reported on Wednesday. 

“The forces and hardware of the Black Sea Fleet have begun tracking the activities of the British Royal Navy HMS Duncan destroyer and the Canadian Forces HMCS Toronto frigate, which entered the waters of the Black Sea on July 2, 2019,” the statement reads.

The Kasimov small anti-submarine ship and Pytlivy patrol ship are tracking the NATO vessels, the center clarified.

The defense agency said that “naval air force jets and the Bal and Bastion coastal missile systems have been put on duty in designated regions.” Radio electronic tracking is also being conducted.

Currently, NATO ships are taking part in the Sea Breeze 2019 drills in the Black Sea. The exercises officially began on July 1 in the western part of the Black Sea. This year, according to the press service of the Ukrainian embassy in the US, more than 3,000 servicemen from 19 countries are participating in the drills, including those from the United States, the United Kingdom and Ukraine. The US is playing a key role in preparing the drills’ scenario and executing it. The exercises are scheduled to run until July 12.

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