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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Russia launches Baltic naval drills, ratcheting up tensions with European neighbors

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Russia’s Ministry of Protection says it has opened live-fire naval workouts within the Baltic Sea

Russia’s Ministry of Protection stated it started begun live-fire naval workouts within the Baltic Se a on Wednesday, ratcheting up tensions with close by European nations which might be already excessive over NATO and Ukraine.

Russia final carried out mass navy workouts within the Baltic Sea in June, two months after Finland grew to become NATO’s latest member. The drills occurred on the identical time NATO was holding its personal Baltic Sea workouts.

The Russian workouts introduced Wednesday will contain extra personnel and plane than the final spherical and can function the usage of stay weapons. The Russian protection ministry stated the navy’s commander-in-chief, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, will oversee the drills, which had been designed to check “the navy’s readiness to guard the nationwide pursuits of the Russian Federation in an operationally essential space.”

The Ocean Protect-2023 workouts will contain forces working towards methods to “defend sea lanes, transport troops and navy cargo, in addition to defend the shoreline,” the ministry stated. Greater than 200 fight workouts will contain some 6,000 personnel, 30 warships and boats and 30 plane, it added.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has lengthy railed in opposition to NATO and has tried to restrict the Western navy alliance’s growth, particularly to nations which was a part of the Soviet Union. The Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia joined NATO in 2004.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden each utilized to affix NATO. Finland, which has a Baltic coast, grew to become the thirty first member in April, greater than doubling Russia’s land border with NATO.

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