Russian Baltic Fleet to join several NATO-led maneuvers in 2014 - commander
Russia's Baltic Fleet intends to participate in all the international maneuvers that NATO countries will hold in the Baltic Sea in 2014.
"Next year our ships will take part in several NATO-led maneuvers. Its highlight will be the traditional BALTOPS [Baltic Operations] exercises, in which the Russian Navy participated in 2013 for the first time in many years," the Baltic Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Viktor Kravchuk, told Interfax.
NATO's other maneuvers that the Russian Baltic Fleet plans to join include Baltic Sarex, Dynamics Mercy and Danex, he said.
Baltic Fleet ships also plan to take part in several bilateral exercises, including Passex.
Next year, the fleet's ships will also make six port calls in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway as part of programs to promote international and military cooperation.
"Delegations representing the Baltic Fleet command will visit Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy," Kravchuk said.
The fleet's ships and support vessels will also continue to fulfill their missions in different parts of the world ocean both independently and within the Russian Navy's groups, including possible deployments to the Horn of Africa and international efforts to combat sea piracy, the commander said.
"The Baltic Fleet will become a center for active international cooperation in 2014. The Russian Navy expects visits by the Navy commanders of Denmark, Germany, Norway, France, as well as the commander of the Sixth Fleet of the U.S. Navy," he said.
Warships from Belgium, the UK, Germany and Norway are expected to make port calls in Russia next year.
Cooperation between the marine forces of the Baltic Fleet and Sweden will continue in 2014.
A delegation of the 1st Amphibious Regiment of the Swedish Navy will visit the Baltic Fleet's marine brigade in Baltiysk next year, Kravchuk said.