Twenty-two countries are participating in joint military exercises in Ukraine's capital Kiev, aimed at practicing international peacekeeping operations.

The 20-day exercises, titled Peace Shield 2005, enroll 750 servicemen from countries including the United States, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia and Georgia.

The exercises are divided into two stages.

In the first stage, computer networks will be used to enhance coordination between the headquarters and various divisions of the troops as well as coordination between multinational troops in their peacekeeping missions.

Exercises of this stage will last until July 25.

The second stage will take place on August 3 at the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine. Exercises will be mainly naval, land and air combat drills. The United States will send Marine Corps troops to the drills.

The Peace Shield 2005 exercises are part of the bilateral military cooperation program between Ukraine and the United States.


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