NATO War Games In Baltic Encourage Ukraine Military Assault
May 7, 2014
NATO drills being held in Estonia encourage Kyiv’s forceful actions – Grushko
MOSCOW/BRUSSELS: NATO drills being held in Estonia encourage Kyiv to commit forceful actions, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said.
“NATO drills being held in Estonia, the largest ones since 1991, are accompanied by bellicose rhetoric and only encourage Kyiv to continue the punitive operation against its own people,” Grushko told Interfax on Wednesday.
“NATO prefers to not recall the February appeals to the Ukrainian armed forces to maintain their neutral status and not to interfere in the domestic conflict,” he said.
Kyiv is being provided with enhanced support in the framework of the cooperation program of NATO-Ukraine committee. Grushko said.
“NATO should realize that they are responsible for the criminal actions of its ‘partner for peace’,” he said.
May 7, 2014
NATO begins military drills with 6,000 troops in Estonia
Amid the rising crisis in Ukraine, NATO has begun military drills in Estonia with a record high six thousand troops.
The three-week “Spring Storm” drills also include a cyber security team from France for the first time. In addition, Poland has sent three Sukhoi-22 attack aircraft and a missile defense system unit.
This year, military manoeuvres will be held in five out of fifteen Estonian counties, including southern and southeastern regions close to the border with Russia. Since April the 29th, Britain, France, and the US have been deploying troops to the Baltic region. And a group of NATO ships also arrived in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda on May the 2nd. US troops will stay in Estonia till the end of this year.
Ministry of Defence
May 2, 2014
UK troops arrive in Estonia for training exercise
The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, is accompanying soldiers from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (1 LANCS).
The soldiers from 1 LANCS, who have worked alongside their Estonian counterparts in Afghanistan, are taking part in Exercise Spring Storm, the final exercise for Estonian conscripts after a year of national service.
The British soldiers, consisting of the battalion’s tactical headquarters and Burma Company, will be acting as ‘enemy forces’ for the largest army exercise in the Estonians’ training calendar.
Philip Hammond said:
British troops will be training alongside their Estonian counterparts as part of a range of UK military activities supporting our Baltic Nato allies.
This exercise is about maintaining close working relationships with our key allies in the region, and particularly the Estonian army, with whom we enjoy a proud history of operating together, most recently in Afghanistan.
The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment has formed extremely close ties with the Scouts Battalion, the Estonian army’s only regular army infantry unit.
This began in 2005 when the Reserve Battalion, 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, trained with them in Estonia and Lithuania and continued onto operations in Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Colonel George Maund, commanding officer of 1 LANCS, said:
The battalion is delighted to be taking part in this important exercise and looking forward to building on the excellent relationship we have formed with Estonian forces on operations in Afghanistan.
This exercise gives my soldiers an excellent opportunity to develop joint operating skills with a long-standing and valued Nato partner and they are looking forward to the experience immensely.
Exercise Spring Storm 2014 will last until 23 May and during this a formal ‘bond of friendship’ will be exchanged in a ceremony that will cement the deepening relationship.