NATO to conduct nuclear drills amid Russian threats

    NATO to conduct nuclear drills amid Russian threats

    Bright Times News: Despite escalating tensions over the conflict in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that he is not playing games when it comes to using all available means to defend Russian territory, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that the alliance will move forward with long-planned nuclear exercises the following week.

    Every year, “Steadfast Noon,” a training exercise, lasts for about a week. Despite using fighter jets with nuclear warheads, there are no real bombs in this scenario. Regular participants include conventional planes, as well as surveillance and refueling aircraft.

    The exercise, which was prepared before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, would involve 14 of the 30 NATO member nations. According to a NATO spokesman, the main portion of the maneuvers would take place more than 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) away from Russia.

    “We should not abruptly cancel a normal drill that has been long planned because of the conflict in Ukraine. On the eve of a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, Stoltenberg told reporters, “That would be the absolute worst signal to send.

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    “The greatest approach to prevent escalation is NATO’s solid, predictable behavior, our military strength,” he said. “We would heighten the risk of escalation if we suddenly gave Moscow the excuse for any misconceptions or miscalculations about our willingness to defend and protect all allies.”

    Putin increased the stakes by annexing four Ukrainian districts and announcing a partial mobilization of up to 300,000 reservists to support the fraying front line as the Russian army withdrew under the blows of Ukrainian soldiers equipped with Western weapons.

    Putin has often hinted that he would use nuclear weapons to defend the Russian gains as his war plans have gone astray. Additionally, the threat is intended to prevent NATO members from supplying Ukraine with more advanced weapons.

    There are no weapons in the possession of NATO as an organization. Three NATO members—the United States, the United Kingdom, and France—retain strict control over the nuclear weapons ostensibly associated with the alliance. The secretive Nuclear Planning Group of the alliance will meet with defence ministers on Thursday.

    Stoltenberg stressed that the allies “have also stated clearly to Russia that it will have grave consequences if they deploy nuclear weapons in any way” and called Putin’s increasing nuclear rhetoric “dangerous and reckless.”

    According to Stoltenberg, “We are continuously watching Russia’s nuclear forces.” Although we have not noticed any changes in Russia’s stance, we continue to be on guard.

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