HMCS Toronto headed to Black Sea in response to Russia-Ukraine tensions

HMCS Toronto is pictured in Halifax on Jan.14, 2013. .
HMCS Toronto is pictured in Halifax on Jan.14, 2013. . Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – A Halifax-based navy frigate will join ships from other nations in a bid to boost security in the Black Sea.

HMCS Toronto will start training exercises Monday with ships from eight countries, including Spain, Romania and the United States.

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“The men and women of HMCS Toronto are our representatives of choice to our NATO maritime partners and…are doing their vital part in advancing Canada’s contribution to peace and security abroad,” said Lt.-Gen. Stuart A. Beare, commander Canadian joint operations command, in a release.

Operation Reassurance is slated to run until Sept. 27.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says Toronto’s presence in the Black Sea is in response to Russia’s “aggressive actions towards Ukraine.”

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NATO is increasing maritime patrols in both the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean as part of a deterrence package to contain potential Russian ambitions.