Rada speaker signs bill allowing foreign military drills in Ukraine in 2015
The speaker of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Hroisman, has signed a bill, which was proposed by the president and backed by the parliament, to allow foreign troops into Ukraine in 2015 to take part in five multinational military exercises, the parliament announced on its website on Thursday.
It was reported that 305 Ukrainian parliamentarians voted for the bill on March 17.
Under the bill, the drills Ukraine is planning to host in 2015 include three U.S.-Ukrainian exercises, Fearless Guardian, Sea Breeze, and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident, and two Polish-Ukrainian ones, Safe Skies and the Law and Order.
Fearless Guardian will take place in Yavoriv district, Lviv region, in the period from March to November and will bring together a maximum of 2,200 troops. Ukraine is providing up to 200 armed forces troops and up to 1,000 National Guard personnel, and the U.S. will be represented by a maximum of 1,000 servicemen.
Sea Breeze will be a 25-day exercise held between June and October in the Black Sea and at training sites in the regions of Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kherson. A maximum of 2,500 troops will take part in it.
Ukraine and the United States will each be represented by a maximum of 1,000 troops. The rest of the personnel will come from other NATO countries and member countries of NATO's Partnership for Peace program (up to 500 troops).
Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident will also take place in Yavoriv district. The 25-day exercise, to be held between July and October, will bring together up to 2,100 troops, with up to 1,000 representing Ukraine, up to 500 the United States, and up to 600 other NATO and Partnership for Peace member countries.
Secure Skies is a 14-day tactical air force exercise in which a maximum of 250 Ukrainian and 100 Polish servicemen will take part.
Law and Order is a one-week military police exercise in Yavoriv that will together 50 Ukrainians and 50 Poles.
Permission from parliament is needed to allow foreign military personnel into Ukraine.