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NATO drills in Estonia targeted against Russia — defense official

November 11, 2014, 16:00 UTC+3
NATO's Trident Juncture exercise is held in Estonia in the period between November 9 and 17
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US soldiers seen dirung NATO drill is the Baltic (archive)

US soldiers seen dirung NATO drill is the Baltic (archive)

© EPA/VALDA KALNINA

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. NATO’s Trident Juncture command post exercise that is held in Estonia in the period between November 9 and 17 is targeted against Russia, head of the main international co-operation department of the Russian Defence Ministry Sergei Koshelev told reporters on Tuesday.

He said the Russian Defence Ministry has taken notice of the exercise. “The exercise scenario is aimed at drilling actions of staffs of various levels in the conditions of an attack of ‘a hostile major state’ on a member of the alliance.” Geographically, Estonia where the exercise is held, borders, except the Russian Federation, on ‘small friendly states.’ Therefore, the NATO exercise is targeted exclusively against Russia,” Koshelev said.

According to him, the Russian Defence Ministry links this exercise with recent statements of NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) General Philip M. Breedlove about the need to provide additional forces to the alliance in connection with the allegedly non-stopping Russian threat. “Today Estonian has been chosen as an object of this threat. Although not long ago Poland, Lithuania and Latvia where large-scale NATO exercises were conducted were such objects. Over the past 1.5 years the alliance has held five exercises with concentration of various troops near Russia’s borders, including NATO Response Force (NRF). Against this background particularly strange are the complaints of some NATO officials over the flight of a group of Russian planes in the international airspace in the North Atlantic,” Koshelev said.

“It is obvious that the course NATO member states have chosen will not make the situation in Europe safer,” the official said.

According to him, the Russian Defence Ministry ‘has noticed that unlike the similar exercises, held by the alliance in 2012-2013, NATO has currently considerably increased the number of staff structures that are drilling interaction.”

Koshelev said the course NATO member states have chosen will not make the situation in Europe safer. “It is evident that the course chosen by NATO colleagues will hardly make the situation in Europe safer,” the top military said.

He also said the participation of the NATO Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, Norway, staff of the NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples in Italy and the NATO Allied Command Operations headquarters in Belgium (Mons) testifies to the considerably increased scale of the military alliance’s combat training events.

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