MOSCOW, June 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Units of the Pskov Airborne Division for the time of the military exercises in the Kaliningrad region will be managed by the Western Military District. The units will be relocated to the Kaliningrad region, where they will parachute, Chief of the Headquarters First Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces Nikolai Ignatov said on Wednesday.
The exercises are organized at the time when NATO holds its drills in the Baltic State - Saber Strike and BALTOPS. Initially, Russia was invited to participate in those exercises, but due to the Ukrainian crisis the Alliance decided to terminate the cooperation with Moscow.
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the exercises involving the Baltic Fleet, Airborne and Air Forces on June 10. The ministry’s press service said the forces in the Russian exercises are comparable with those in NATO’s exercises, which feature 6,000 military. The Defense Ministry’s exercises involve vessel groups, Airborne Troops and Marine Corps units, Air Force formations, Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) fighter-bombers, Mil Mi-24 (Hind) helicopters and Tupolev Tu-22M3 (Backfire) bombers, the ministry said.
NATO drills Saber Strike 2014 take place on the territory of three Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) on June 9-20, and BALTOPS 2014 in the Baltic Sea from June 6 to 21. On Tuesday, head of NATO’s Information Office in Russia Robert Pszczel told ITAR-TASS those exercises were a surprise for NATO.