About 50 of NATO’s allied-members’ warships and submarines have assembled 50 miles off the border of Russia for the “Baltops 15” military drills, a move sure to earn a counter reaction from Moscow.
Part of the assembly includes Britain’s biggest warship for NATO named helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, which carries some 80 Royal Marines, the Sunday Times reports. RT News says the drills will start on June 5 and last for two weeks. Some of the weapons expected to be used during the “Baltops 15” include the American B-52 nuclear bombers.
The “Baltops 15” meant to test the battle-readiness of the Baltic nations over the perceived aggressions and expansions of Russia into their territories. Such assembly has already earned warnings from Moscow. Aleksandr Grushko, Russia’s envoy to NATO, warned in mid-May that Moscow will not hesitate to increase its forces in Crimea. “Naturally … because NATO countries have stepped up their activities… in the immediate vicinity of our borders.”
Some of the international fleet of vessels due to take part in the “Baltops 15” will position as close as to the Gulf of Gdansk, which is just a mere 50 miles off the Russian border. Some will be near the western Polish town of Ustka. The activity at the latter will reportedly involve amphibious landing drills where the NATO forces will storm a beach from HMS Ocean. They will be covered by Apache helicopter fire.