Putin discusses grain deal with Erdogan
"The drills involve over 30 combat ships and gunboats, 20 support vessels, 30 aircraft of naval aviation and Russia’s Aerospace Forces and about 6,000 troops," the ministry said.
MOSCOW: Naval drills, which Moscow codenamed Ocean Shield 2023, have been kicked off in the Baltic Sea on Wednesday, TASS reported quoting Russia’s Defence Ministry. "From August 2, a naval exercise, Ocean Shield 2023, is running in the Baltic Sea under the command of Navy Commander-in-Chief Nikolay Yevmenov. The exercise will check the preparedness of the naval forces for protecting national interests of the Russian Federation in an operationally important area and interoperability of headquarters at various levels in command and control of forces (troops)," the ministry said in a statement.
Also, Russia’s naval maneuvers will practice protecting sea lanes, carrying troops and military cargo and defending the seashore, it specified, as per TASS. The Russian News Agency TASS, abbreviated TASS, is a Russian state-owned news agency founded in 1904.
"The drills involve over 30 combat ships and gunboats, 20 support vessels, 30 aircraft of naval aviation and Russia’s Aerospace Forces and about 6,000 troops," the ministry said. After the drills, combat ships will make inter-fleet passages to their permanent naval bases while aircraft will return to their home airfields, it said.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held discussions on the Black Sea grain initiative during a phone call on Wednesday, CNN reported citing the Turkish Presidency’s statement. The two leaders also agreed on Putin's visit to Turkey, according to the statement.
"Expressing that steps should not be taken to escalate tensions during the Russia-Ukraine war, President Erdogan underlined the importance of the Black Sea Initiative, which he considers a 'bridge of peace'," reads the statement. "Pointing out that the long-term shutdown of the Black Sea Initiative will not benefit anyone, and that the countries in need of grain and low income will suffer the most, President Erdogan pointed out that the prices of grains, which decreased by 23 percent during the implementation period, increased by 15 percent in the last two weeks," it added, as per CNN.
"President Erdogan noted that Turkey will continue to carry out intensive efforts and diplomacy for the continuation of the Black Sea Initiative," the statement said. Erdogan also thanked his Russian counterpart for the 2 amphibious firefighting aircraft sent by Russia to Turkey for its battle against the forest fires.
Erdogan "expressed his satisfaction with the increasing interest of Russian tourists in Turkey, and expressed his belief that a record will be broken in tourism this year with joint efforts," according to the statement, CNN reported.