NATO member Latvia, Estonia, and the Netherlands will conduct joint naval exercises in the Baltic Sea with Finland, according to the Finnish military. The drills will be focused on, “mine countermeasures.”
The training mission will be held between Thursday and Friday following a visit to Turku, Finland by NATO’s Mine Action Division, the country’s Coastal Fleet said in a statement, adding that the drills will include a Latvian mine-laying vessel and mine-sweepers from Estonia and the Netherlands.
“The main goal of the exercise is to search for and identify underwater objects,” said the Coastal Fleet’s Chief of Staff, Commander Mikko Villikari. “In these exercises, we learn to work as part of a group that we do not regularly interact with. It helps to maintain international expertise.”
Two Katanpaa-class mine-hunters from Finland’s fleet will also take part in the training.
According to the Finnish military, the drills would be conducted in the Archipelago Sea inside the Baltic. It is located approximately 330 miles (540km) away from St. Petersburg.
Planned one year in advance, the exercises come amid reports that both Finland and Sweden – historically neutral states – are moving ahead on plans to join the NATO bloc and could submit membership applications as early as next month. Leaders in both countries have stated that Russia’s attack on Ukraine has shifted their calculations in regards to the alliance, while NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has declared that they would be readily admitted.
NATO protection promised to Sweden before membership – media
Moscow, which has a border crossing of 800-miles (1,340km), between Finland and Moscow, warned against such an action. “restore military balance”In the Baltic Region, former Russian President and present deputy chair of Russian National Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said that the region may be renamed. “nuclear-free”NATO should absorb the Nordic states.
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