BRUSSELS, October 14. /TASS/. NATO is set to launch its regular military drills on nuclear deterrence starting on October 17 and until October 30, the alliance’s press service said in a statement on Friday.
"Air forces from across NATO will exercise nuclear deterrence capabilities involving dozens of aircraft over north-western Europe starting on Monday [October 17, 2022]," the statement reads.
"The exercise, which runs until 30 October, is a routine, recurring training activity and it is not linked to any current world events," according to the statement from NATO.
"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," according to NATO.
The statement also quoted NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu as saying that: "This exercise helps ensure that the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective."
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.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists earlier in the day that Moscow was keeping a close eye on all of NATO’s regular military exercises near Russia’s state borders.