Russian military to participate in NATO drills next year

MOSCOW. December 18. KAZINFORM The Russian Navy plans to participate in a number of joint drills with NATO countries as well as with the Ukrainian Navy, Black Sea Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Vladimir Korolyov said Friday; Kazinform refers to Xinhua.

The Black Sea Fleet will take part in five drills next year, including NATO's Bold Monarch-2011 maneuvers and the Farvater Mira-2011 Russian-Ukrainian exercises, Interfax news agency reported.

Russia also will take command of the "Blackseafor" six-country group, a naval cooperation task group established in 1998 that is comprised of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia.

Also, Russian Strategic Forces will keep for 15 more years its Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan according to NATO's classification) intercontinental ballistic missiles, said Russia's other military representative, Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said.

"The extension of the service life of the Voyevoda missile system will allow to keep these missiles in service until 2026," Karakayev said.

According to the latest data available, Russia has 75 Voyevoda deployed. The missiles carry the most powerful warheads in the world.

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