Amid veiled nuclear threats from Russia, the US-led Western military alliance NATO has announced it will resume its long-planned annual nuclear deterrent drills, set to take place next week.
“This is routine training that takes place every year to keep our deterrence safe, secure and effective,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday.
Regarding Moscow’s threat to use nuclear weapons in its war with Ukraine, the NATO Secretary General said: “President Putin’s veiled nuclear threats are dangerous and irresponsible,” adding: “Russia knows that a nuclear war cannot be won and will never be fought.” may be. “
In his speech at the press conference, Stoltenberg also welcomed “the recent Allied announcements to provide more advanced air defense systems and other capabilities, and I look forward to further deliveries.” NATO will stand by Ukraine “as long as necessary,” he added.
Dubbed Steadfast Noon, the annual exercise involves 14 of NATO’s 30 member nations and aims to ensure the alliance is prepared for a worst-case scenario. Given the current context of the conflict in Ukraine, the exercise is intended to provide NATO member states with a “sense of security”.
Though the exercises are annual, this year they coincide with the recent escalation of Russian President Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons, warning the West not to bluff. Western countries have warned Moscow of “catastrophic consequences” if it uses nuclear weapons.
“We are closely monitoring Russia’s nuclear forces. We have not noticed any changes in Russia’s attitude. But we remain vigilant,” said Stoltenberg at the press conference.
When asked if it was a good idea to practice flying nuclear weapons around given the heightened threats from Russia and the possibility of miscalculation or misunderstanding, Stoltenberg told the outlet, “Now is the right time to stand firm and stand firm.” make NATO exist to protect and defend all allies.”
“We have been open about the exercise and I think it would send a very wrong signal if we suddenly canceled a routine, long-planned exercise now because of the war in Ukraine. That would absolutely send the wrong signal,” NATO said the Secretary General.
According to Stoltenberg, NATO’s resolute, predictable behavior and military strength is the best way to prevent an escalation.
“We are here to keep the peace, prevent escalation and prevent any attack on allied NATO countries. So if we create the cause of misunderstandings and miscalculations now in Moscow regarding our readiness to protect and defend all allies, we would increase the risk of escalation and that is the last thing we will do,” he said.
Although nuclear weapons are a core component of NATO’s overall deterrence and defense strategy capabilities, as a military alliance it has no direct control over such weapons. The nuclear weapons that are part of the alliance remain under the firm control of three key member states: the US, Britain and France.
Exercise Steadfast Noon does not involve live ammunition, but does include fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear warheads, conventional jets, and surveillance and refueling aircraft that routinely participate.
On Wednesday, the US-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group will meet at NATO, where Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov will update alliance ministers on the latest developments on the ground. Meanwhile, the secretary-general will chair a meeting of the nuclear planning group on Thursday to discuss Russia’s nuclear rhetoric and the role of NATO’s nuclear capabilities.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/nato-go-ahead-planned-nuclear-deterrent-exercise-amid-russias-nuclear-threat-1839438?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution NATO will proceed with a planned nuclear deterrent exercise in the face of the nuclear threat posed by Russia