MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Moscow is keeping a close eye on all of NATO’s regular military exercises near Russia’s state borders, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists on Friday.
"This is a regular Steadfast Noon exercise, the training of the nuclear component of their system, including those containing direct violations of the NPT [the Non-Proliferation Treaty] provisions," Ryabkov noted.
"I mean here the joint nuclear missions of NATO member states, within which personnel of non-nuclear nations are involved in training activities with nuclear weapons," he continued. "However, this is only a minor element of what NATO does on a regular basis."
"We are certainly closely following everything and taking it into account dealing with this issue in order to understand what may happen on behalf of NATO," Ryabkov noted.
"I would like to reiterate that there is no ‘emergency’ here, these are the drills, which are held on a regular basis," the diplomat said. "Of course, their scenario may differ, but they are always held in the same order and chain of developments," he stated.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on October 11 that the military alliance intended to hold a long-planned nuclear deterrence exercise and that he did not believe that the drills should be cancelled over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The NATO chief said that the annual exercise Steadfast Noon would be held next week.