KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine, the United States, Poland and Lithuania will hold a large military exercise in the western part of Ukraine later in July, the Ukrainian military said on Monday, the second round of war games involving Kyiv and foreign partners in a month.
The drill, Three Swords-2021, will involve more 1,200 servicemen and more than 200 combat vehicles and will last from 17 to 30 July at Yavoriv training ground in Lviv region.
“Three Swords-2021 create favourable conditions for the development and effective coordination of units of partner states, in order to improve the quality and increase the level of combat capabilities,” the military said in a statement.
Last week, Ukraine and the United States started a military exercise, Sea Breeze, involving more than 30 countries in the Black Sea and southern Ukraine, despite Russian calls to cancel the drills.
Sea Breeze 2021 follows a rise in tensions between NATO and Moscow, which said last month it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Black Sea waters off the coast of Crimea.
Relations between Kyiv and Moscow plummeted after Russia seized Crimea and over Russia’s support for a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine has said it had urged NATO to speed up Ukraine’s entry through a Membership Action Plan and welcomed the Alliance statement confirming Ukraine’s eventual entry into the military alliance.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Editing by William Maclean)