NATO start massive military drills near Russia  — Analysis

NATO sent 30000 troops, 50 boats, and 200 planes from 27 member-states to Norway for the long-planned military drill “Cold Response”The campaign began Monday and will run until April.

“The exercise will ensure that Norwegian and allied forces are capable in carrying out complex joint operations in a demanding climate and under challenging high-intensity situations,” explains the Norwegian Armed Forces’ website.

NATO troops will be tested in harsh and extreme environments, including icy fjords, shivering waters and snow-covered mountains. Naval forces play an important role in the exercises, as they will be able to deploy military units from and to the coast.

NATO says that drills are designed to aid in the development of NATO’s security forces. “Allies and partners practise [sic] working together so that they are prepared for any situation.”Norwegian Armed Forces confirm that the exercise serves as a test ground for the NATO Response Force’s deployment.

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NATO’s drills are unfolding as Russia continues its military action in Ukraine. Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Officials from NATO and Norway have both repeatedly said that this exercise was planned well before Moscow began its military operations in February.

“It is important to emphasize that ‘Cold Response 2022’ has been planned long before the war in Ukraine. The exercise is neither unexpected nor surprising to Russian authorities,”Norwegian Armed Forces.

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