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British troops, NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 (HQ MARCOM)

NATO to hold largest exercises since Cold War near Russian border

In October of 2018, the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) will hold “Trident Juncture” exercises in Europe. These will be the largest since the Cold War.

Published: March 11, 2018, 11:24 am

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    This was stated by the commander of the US Marine Corps, General Robert Neller at the hearing in the House of Representatives of the US Congress.

    He added that some 45 000 military personnel of NATO countries will take part, as well as dozens of ships and aircraft, off the coast of Norway. They will be repelling a “simulated threat” from Russia.

    Neller said that he fully expects Russia to protest against the exercises being staged so close to its borders.

    “I think that this shows the seriousness of our strategy, and also that our European allies want to see our presence there and our commitment to their protection,” he added.

    Trident Juncture exercises are held every three years. The last exercises in 2015, in which about 36 thousand servicemen of the NATO countries took part. Ukraine was also included.

    “Russia is nowhere near the strategic or global threat the Soviet Union presented,” conservative pundit Patrick Buchanan noted. As President Vladimir Putin conceded this week, with the breakup of the USSR, the country “lost 23.8 percent of its national territory, 48.5 percent of its population, 41 percent of its gross domestic product and 44.6 percent of its military capacity”.

    But despite that, “the US political system has been eating itself up,” over an imagined Russian threat, Putin remarked this week.

    Meanwhile, American and Canadian delegations have arrived in Donbass as the Ukrainian army is busy regrouping.

    Deputy commander of the operational command of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Eduard Basurin, has reported on the arrival of American and Canadian military instructors in the Donbass.

    The authorities of the DR believe that Ukraine intends to “substantially destabilize the situation in the zone of armed conflict”. Basurin noted that Ukrainian saboteurs have become increasingly active in recent days.

    Basurin added that the Ukrainian security forces have used the truce to build up their military capability on the line of demarcation. “The enemy openly violates the Minsk Agreements regarding the disposition of heavy weapons, without even trying to hide these facts,” said Basurin.

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