Fourteen of the 30 NATO member states will take part in the exercise, which was planned before Russia invaded Ukraine.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the Western military alliance will conduct its annual annual nuclear deterrence exercises, scheduled to be held next week amid rising tensions with Russia over Russia. war in Ukraine.
The drills, known as “Noon Stabilization,” are held every year and typically run for about a week. They involve warplanes capable of carrying nuclear warheads, but do not involve any live bombs. Conventional jets along with surveillance and refueling aircraft are also regularly involved.
Fourteen of the 30 NATO member countries took part in the exercise, which was planned in advance Russia Invaded Ukraine in February.
The main part of the exercise will be held more than 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) from Russia, a NATO official, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said.
“It would send a very wrong signal if we now abruptly cancel a routine, long-planned exercise because of the war in Ukraine. It is absolutely a false signal to send,” Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
“The sure, predictable behavior of NATO, our military might, is the best way to prevent escalation,” he said.
Stoltenberg added: “If we now create the basis for any misunderstanding, miscalculation in Moscow about our readiness to defend and defend all our allies, we will increase the risk escalation muscle.
With Russian forces retreat under the blow of Ukrainian troops armed with Western weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin has raised the bar on the conflict in recent weeks by annexation of four regions of Ukraine and declare a mobilize a part of hundreds of thousands of reserves to fortify the crumbling front lines.
Putin has repeatedly signaled that he can use nuclear weapons to protect his country. On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would resort to that only if the Russian state faced imminent destruction. Speaking on state television, he accused the West of encouraging false speculation about the Kremlin’s intentions.
The Russian nuclear doctrine envisions “exclusive retaliatory measures aimed at preventing the destruction of the Russian Federation as a result of direct nuclear attacks or the use of other weapons that pose a threat to the Russian Federation.” threatens the very existence of the Russian state,” Lavrov said.
NATO as an organization does not own any weapons. The nuclear weapons nominally affiliated with NATO remain under the firm control of three member states: the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. The alliance’s secretive Nuclear Planning Group will meet on Thursday.
Stoltenberg described Putin’s nuclear comments as “dangerous and reckless” and stressed that allies “have also clearly conveyed to Russia that there will be serious consequences if they use nuclear weapons.” in any way”.
“We are closely monitoring Russia’s nuclear forces,” Stoltenberg said. “We don’t see any change in Russia’s posture, but we remain vigilant.”