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Strategic arena: Naval presence focuses international spotlight on Baltic Sea

13 September 2017

Recent months have seen NATO and Chinese naval task groups exercising in the Baltic Sea, while the Russian navy is also operating some of its newest ships there. Dr Lee Willett considers the strategic importance of the Baltic Sea’s naval developments

In July, three ships from China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) visited the Baltic Sea. The flotilla consisted of the Type 052D Luyang III-class guided-missile destroyer Hefei , the Type 054A Jiangkai II guided-missile frigate Yuncheng , and the Type 903A Fuchi-class auxiliary vessel Luoma Hu . The ships joined Russian Federation Navy forces for the latest iteration of the Sino-Russian ‘Joint Seas’ exercise series.

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