Bulgaria, Romania, US to Hold Military Drill in Black SeaDefense | March 7, 2014, Friday // 14:35| views
Photo by truxtunassn.org
Joint naval exercises with Bulgarian, Romanian and US vessels are to take place in the Black Sea on March 11.
The naval forces of all three nations have stated no connection between the upcoming drill and the tensions on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based, the Bulgarian National Radio has reported.
Vessels participating in the event include a Bulgarian frigate, three Romanian ships and US destroyer USS Truxtun.
The US military described the joint military maneuvers as a "routine" deployment scheduled last year, long before the standoff in Ukraine.
Crimea, however, is some 500 km to the north-east of the location where the drill is to be carried out.
According to a statement by the US Navy, the Truxtun left Greece on Thursday after it was granted passage through the Black Sea Straits by Turkey, which controls their traffic.
The USS Truxtun will be at the Bulgarian city of Varna's port from March 12 to March 14.
More military exercises are set to be held in Eastern Europe, as Poland also envisages joint maneuvers with the US near the Ukrainian border.