August 13, 2008 / 3:20 PM / 11 years ago

UK cancels navy exercise with Russia

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain followed the United States and cancelled a planned joint naval exercise with Russia on Wednesday, saying it couldn’t go ahead with the event given circumstances in Georgia.

“The Royal Navy will not be participating in the quadrilateral exercise,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement. “It would be highly inappropriate to do so in current circumstances.”

The exercise was due to take place between August 18-22 in Vladivostock and would have involved France as well as Russia, the United States and Britain. The annual military training event has been held since 1988.

The United States announced on Tuesday that it would not go ahead with the exercise as a protest against Russia’s actions in Georgia, after accusing Moscow of using excessive force to drive Georgia troops out of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

Reporting by Luke Baker; Editing by Richard Meares

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