Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has put forward a bill in parliament which proposes to allow foreign troops into the country for the purpose of conducting international exercises. According to the Verkhovna Rada’s information portal, bill No. 10067 was sent on Tuesday 19 February to the National Security and Defense Committee for consideration.
The president’s bill states that in 2019, six international exercises will be held in Ukraine: joint exercises with the US, UK and Romania, as well as several multinational exercises.
Over the course of the year, multinational drills involving more than 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers, 1,500 US troops and another 1,500 from other NATO member-states and Partnership for Peace members will be held at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in the Lviv province’s Yavoriv region and at other training grounds throughout the country.
The US-Ukraine Sea Breeze 2019 exercise will be held over 20 days sometime between June and December in the Black Sea and at military airfields and training grounds belonging to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as the Pivden naval base, a number of landing sites, the Odessa and Mykolaiv international airports, and the ports of Odessa, Ochakiv and Yuzhne. The drills will involve as many as 1,750 Ukrainian soldiers, 1,000 US troops, and the same number from other NATO states and Partnership for Peace members.
The Riverine 2019 joint exercise with Romania will be held over 10 days sometime between April and November in the waters of the Danube and the Black Sea, involving 200 Ukrainians and the same number of Romanian troops.
Ukraine’s joint exercises with the UK, Warrior Watcher 2019, will take place over 16 days sometime between August and October at military airfields and training grounds in the Mykolaiv province. Up to 80 Ukrainian and 300 British soldiers will take part in the drills.
Between July and December, the multinational Maple Arch 2019 exercise will be conducted at training grounds in the Zhytomyr province, involving around 100 Ukrainians and up to 350 soldiers from NATO states and Partnership for Peace members.
Previously the Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced that the military would be participating in 20 international exercises in 2019, six of them being held in Ukraine. In addition, there are plans to hold command and staff drills and exercises, tactical exercises, tactical flight exercises, and more than 200 training exercises for brigade headquarters and divisions of the higher military training institutions.