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USA cancels joint exercises with Russia

The Northern Fleet's destroyer “Admiral Chabanenko” took part in the Northern Eagle exercise two years ago. Photo taken during the Norwegian-Russian exercise POMOR-2012.

The U.S. administration plans to cancel participation in the Northern Eagle and FRUKUS naval exercises as part of political and economic measures against Russia following the recent events in Ukraine.

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Joint exercises and military cooperation are among the expected casualties of a diplomatic fallout between the U.S. and Russia over recent events in Ukraine, U.S. officials say.

The administration will cancel the biannual Northern Eagle exercise, which involves the U.S., Norway and Russia, a military official says to web site Stars and Stripes. A planning conference for the exercise on April 13 is expected to be cancelled.

Northern Eagle, held every two years in the Barents and Norwegian seas, focuses on anti-terror and anti-piracy operations, coordinated maneuvering, joint air defense drills, communications and search and rescue operations. It was first held in 2004 as a bilateral Russian-U.S. exercise but was opened to Norway in 2008.

In Northern Eagle 2012 the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer “USS Farragut”, the Russian Northern Fleet’s destroyer “Admiral Chabaneko” and the Norwegian coast guard vessel “KV Andenes” participated.

Officials are also discussing pulling out of the annual FRUKUS naval exercise between France, Russia, the United Kingdom and U.S. A planning conference for the exercise that is scheduled for April 22-23 can be cancelled, the military source says. 

FRUKUS, held last year in France, was created by the four nations in 2003 to improve interoperability. It is the largest international exercise Russia’s Northern Fleet takes part in.