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NATO to begin training of troops close to Russian border in Norway

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The Norwa – Russia border

BELGIUM: Troops of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and its partners will begin a training exercise on Monday in Norway. Aimed at coming to the rescue of one of its own, the NATO exercise will be held a few hundred kilometres away from the borders of Russia that has expanded its offensive in Ukraine and is currently closing in on its capital Kyiv.

While NATO’s training programme was planned long before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine that is now its third week leading to massive bloodshed and destruction, it now has added significance because of the war.

“This exercise is extremely important for the security of Norway and its allies. We will practice an allied reinforcement of Norway”, Norwegian Defence Minister Odd Roger Enoksen said.

Some 30,000 troops, 200 aircraft and 50 vessels from 27 nations will take part in the Cold Response 2022 exercise, the largest exercise involving NATO troops this year.

The guardian of NATO’s northern border in Europe, Norway is keen to test how it would manage Allied reinforcements on its soil, in line with Article 5 of NATO’s charter, which requires member states to come to the aid of another member state under attack.

Neighbouring Sweden and Finland, which are officially military non-aligned but increasingly close partners of NATO, will also participate in Cold Response, which will conclude on April 1.

Meanwhile, Russia has declined an invitation to send observers to the exercise. “Any build-up of NATO military capabilities near Russia’s borders does not help to strengthen security in the region,” said the Russian embassy in Norway.


Monday, March 14, 2022 – 01:00

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