Navy commanders of Black Sea countries to hold conference in Georgia

A conference of the navy commanders of countries of the Black Sea region will be held in Tbilisi (Georgia) on April 6-7. The commanders will discuss the results of the third joint maneuvers of the BlackSeaFor group for naval cooperation and its program. During the conference, the navy commanders will also discuss the problem of globalization and its effect on the navies of the Black Sea countries, BlackSeaFor peacekeeping operations, and environmental protection in the Black Sea region. Turkey has suggested that the question of BlackSeaFor participation in anti-terrorist operations should also be touched upon. Officials of the Georgian Defense Ministry and NATO navy commanders will take part in the conference.

According to the preliminary plan, the fourth maneuvers under the command of a representative of the Georgian Navy will consist of two stages. The first stage will commence in the port of Poti on August 3. The ships will later pay visits to the ports of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Bulgaria. The first stage will finish in Romania on September 14. The second stage of the maneuvers is scheduled for April 2005.

Six Black Sea countries (Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Russia and Turkey) signed the agreement on founding BlackSeaFor in Istanbul (Turkey) on April 2, 2001.

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