MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. NATO’s nuclear deterrence drills Steadfast Noon violate the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) as they involve the personnel of non-nuclear states, Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control, said in a live broadcast on the Rossiya-24 TV Channel said on Tuesday.
"These drills violate the CTBT because the personnel of non-nuclear countries are also involved in the drills with the use of codes, passwords and aircraft of nuclear states," the envoy said.
NATO’s Steadfast Noon nuclear deterrence exercise runs from September 17 to September 30 to check the alliance’s nuclear forces. This year, the exercise is headquartered at Belgium’s Kreine Brogel Air Base.
As NATO said in its press release, the exercise Steadfast Noon involves "14 countries and up to 60 aircraft of various types, including fourth and fifth generation fighter jets, as well as surveillance and tanker aircraft. As in previous years, US B-52 long-range bombers will take part."
NATO will exercise nuclear deterrence capabilities involving dozens of aircraft over north-western Europe: over Belgium, the North Sea and the United Kingdom, the military alliance said.