Russia and NATO are conducting large-scale warfare exercises, a rapid and unusual coincidence. The two camps are currently engaged in separate displays and rehearsals of potent anti-air and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
2,000 anti-aircraft troops
Russia is conducting its large-scale military exercise in disputed territories on its borders – the Southern and North Caucasus Federal Districts, in military bases in Armenia, regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the Crimea region. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the war game involved more than 2,000 anti-aircraft troops and 500 weaponries.
The warfare exercise would likely be interpreted by The West as a deliberate display of force, Reuters reported, citing the Interfax news agency as source. The report noted that relationship between Russia and the West has reached a tensed point comparable to that during the Cold War.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov accused NATO of heightened military presence on Russia’s borders. He said current NATO activities have far exceeded the military exercises Russian military was undertaking.
“NATO states are using the situation in the south-east of Ukraine as an excuse to… move forward, closer to Russia’s border,” Antonov was quoted as saying.
Potent NATO Maritime Force
On March 4, NATO deployed warships in the Black Sea to participate in military exercises with other warships from Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies. Military training involved anti-air and anti-submarine warfare exercises including simulated small boat attacks and basic ship handling maneuvers.
“This potent NATO maritime force possesses substantial sea-control, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare capabilities,” NATO said in a statement.
The warships deployed were comprised of the U.S. flagship USS Vicksburge, Canada’s HMCS Fredericton, Turkey’s TCG Turgutreis, Germany’s FGS Spessart, Italy’s ALiseo and Romania’s ROS regina Maria.
“The training and exercises we will conduct with our Allies in the Black Sea prepares us to undertake any mission NATO might require to meet its obligations for collective defense,” US Rear Adm. Brad Williamson, commanding SNMG2, said in a statement.