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Ukraine ready to cooperate with NATO countries in joint patrols in Black Sea - NSDC head

Ukraine ready to cooperate with NATO countries in joint patrols in Black Sea - NSDC headUkraine is ready to cooperate with NATO countries in joint patrols in the Black Sea, considering Russia's behaviour in that region, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said.

"We are ready and we are discussing this option. The thing is that the Russian Armed Forces are dominating the Black Sea following the occupation of Crimea. There is no real alternative to them at the moment; there is no strong NATO fleet in the Black Sea. It was not necessary in the past, but now there is such necessity," he told Interfax-Ukraine.

According to Turchynov, Russia is bolstering its presence in the Baltic region, is rapidly militarising the Kaliningrad region and is creating major bases in the Mediterranean, in Syria. "All this requires an appropriate response, primarily, on the part of NATO. So, I am positive that NATO should be actively present in the Black Sea, and Ukraine is prepared to render full support, from offering our ports as hosts to starting joint activity of our Navy and NATO units," he said.

For instance, Ukrainian ships may be involved, Turchynov said. "We do not have many of them but we are ready to participate in joint projects, such as joint patrols. Both our allies and we are interested in stopping the spread of Russia's aggression," he said.
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