"Following an illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Ukraine has lost part of its naval forces. But I want to be clear: the Ukrainian Naval Forces will return to Crimea", announced Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Tuesday, September 1, in Odessa during an opening ceremony of multinational maritime exercise Sea Breeze 2015.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk called the exercise Sea Breeze an extremely significant event in history of bilateral relations between Ukraine and the United States of America: "Our common objective is to maintain peace, stability and security in the Black Sea".
After the unlawful seizure of Crimea, the Black Sea north coast has turned into a turbulent and unstable area, according to the Head of the Government: "So, our joint exercise is in synergy with our American partners and other countries taking part in the training to do everything possible to transfer the Black Sea into a stable one; to prevent any country from thoughts about capturing a territory of another country; to ensure our security and economic interests to be protected."
Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized the current task is to preserve peace and stability, and due to our joint exercise with the American partners both to speak the same language and to work following the same standards": "The task for Ukraine is to switch to NATO standards".
The Prime Minister reminded that a year before the NATO partners had launched five trust funds aimed at modernization of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Naval Forces: "This includes brand new advanced logistics of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the new educational system, new reconnaissance approaches and maximized approaching of the Ukrainian Army standards to the NATO standards".
Arseniy Yatsenyuk expressed gratitude to the American people and the U.S. Administration for supporting the people of Ukraine in the struggle for independence: "We are not just partners, we're close friends. And we are fighting for freedom and liberty together".
This year an annual exercise Sea Breeze, which was first held in 1997, will be characterized by an unprecedented scale throughout the entire history of the event with up to 2500 participants from different countries. Ukraine’s participation in Sea Breeze 2015 includes approximately 1 thousand military officers, up to 9 ships, 8 planes and helicopters and other equipment. U.S. participation in Sea Breeze 2015 includes up to 1 thousand military personnel with armament and military equipment, up to 5 ships, 2 submarines, up to 6 planes and helicopters, 40 wheeled vehicles.