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US Navy and partners proceed with Black Sea drills over Russian objections

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STUTTGART, Germany — U.S. forces will help clear a sunken Soviet vessel from a Ukrainian pier and conduct drills during an international exercise in the Black Sea, where Navy officials say they are sending a message that the strategic waterway can’t be dominated by Russia.

“We are demonstrating to the world that the Black Sea is an international sea,” Capt. Kyle Gantt, deputy commander of Task Force 65 based in Rota, Spain, said Tuesday. “It is open and available for the free transport of commerce, shipping, for all nations. It is not owned by any one nation.”

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