BRUSSELS, October 11. /TASS/. NATO intends to hold its long-planned ‘deterrence exercise’ and does not believe it should be cancelled because of the conflict in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.
"Next week, NATO will hold its long-planned deterrence exercise, Steadfast Noon. This is routine training, which happens every year. To keep our deterrent safe, secure and effective. <...> The fundamental purpose of NATO’s nuclear deterrence has always been to preserve peace, prevent coercion and deter aggression," Stoltenberg said at a press conference ahead of a meeting of the organization’s defense ministers in Brussels on October 12-13.
He noted that the annual Steadfast Noon exercise will take place next week. "We are closely monitoring Russia’s nuclear forces. We have not seen any changes in Russia’s posture. But we remain vigilant," the Secretary General stressed.
According to Stoltenberg, the risk of escalation will only increase if NATO gave rise to Moscow’s misunderstandings and miscalculations about the organization’s willingness to defend its partners.