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Stoltenberg: NATO will hold nuclear exercises – warning to Russia

NATO’s Steadfast Noon exercise has been planned for a long time and now needs to be held despite tensions with Russia.

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Next week, NATO will begin its annual maneuvers to defend Alliance territory with nuclear weapons. The long-planned Steadfast Noon deterrence exercise is routine training to keep deterrence safe and effective, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels. The core of NATO’s nuclear capabilities is always to keep the peace and prevent aggression.

Stoltenberg called the secret nuclear threats made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the war against Ukraine “dangerous and irresponsible”. At the same time, he stressed that NATO has not yet seen any change in Russian nuclear strategy. Russian nuclear forces would be closely monitored.

According to NATO, the armed forces of Germany and 13 other alliance countries were involved in the Steadfast Noon exercise last year. Among other things, they trained with dozens of aircraft, including nuclear-capable fighter jets, conventional jets, and surveillance and tanker aircraft.

According to military experts, the Steadfast Noon maneuvers that take place regularly in October include practicing how to safely transport US nuclear weapons from underground magazines to the plane and mount them under fighter jets. However, the test flights are then carried out without bombs.

Defense ministers from 30 NATO countries meet this week. Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, they want to make the appropriate decisions, for example to increase the production capacity of ammunition and equipment. “The longer this war drags on, the more important it is that we are able to replenish supplies,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

This would ensure long-term demand for the industry, which in turn would have to invest in new production capacity. This should speed up the delivery of the material to Ukraine. The country needs “a wide range of different systems” in the war against Russia. Stoltenberg mentioned, for example, artillery, armored vehicles, air defense systems, as well as fuel, winter clothing, communication systems and spare parts. “So you need almost everything.”

Stoltenberg said they will discuss with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov what his country needs most urgently. He welcomed recent Allied announcements to provide more advanced air defense systems and other capabilities. “And I’m looking forward to more deliveries.”

Stoltenberg also warned Russia against attacks on Western infrastructure, particularly with regard to the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, which were sabotaged last week. NATO has already doubled its presence in the Baltic and North Seas to more than 30 ships, supported by aircraft and underwater activities, Stoltenberg said, warning Russia: “A deliberate attack on Allied critical infrastructure will be met with a will. of joint and determined response. “

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