NATO has begun a routine Cold Response exercise in Norway on Monday amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The Cold Response 2022 drill will involve 30,000 troops, 200 aircraft, and 50 warships from 27 nations, making it the largest NATO exercise this year.
The manoeuvres will begin today and will allow Western nations to improve their combat skills in Norway’s harsh climate, including in the Arctic, on the land, at sea, and in the air.
What you should know
- The drill will takes place just a few hundred kilometres from Russia’s border, and while it was planned long before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, it has taken on new significance as a result of the conflict.
- The exercises last for two months to test their ability to operate in cold weather environments. The drills come at a time of heightened tension for NATO members, as Russia broadens its offensive in Ukraine.
- Nairametrics reported that Russian missiles have hit a military training facility used by NATO in western Ukraine close to the Polish border killing many and leaving others injured.
What they are saying
Norwegian Defence Minister Odd Roger Enoksen said, “This exercise is extremely important for the security of Norway and its allies. We will practice an allied reinforcement of Norway.
“It is not being held because of the Russian authorities’ attack on Ukraine, but given the backdrop, there is a heightened significance.”
Klaus Wittman, Historian and former German General stated that the Russian bombing near polish borders is worrisome for NATO. He said, “Russian bombing near the polish borders is worrisome because of the dangers of spillover into NATO territory is heightened, and NATO is ready to defend its territory.”
Norway, which guards NATO’s northern border in Europe, is eager to see how it would handle Allied troops on its soil, as required by Article 5 of NATO’s treaty, which mandates member states to assist another member state under attack.
Sweden and Finland, which are formally non-aligned militarily but are becoming closer NATO members, will also take part in the Cold Response which will end on April 1.