“NATO military exercises are intended to enhance security and stability in Europe. All NATO military activities are proportionate, defensive, and fully in line with our international commitments,” NATO Deputy Spokesperson Carmen Romero said in a statement.
“Today's report by the European Leadership Network misleadingly puts NATO and Russian exercises on par. In fact, the Russian Ministry of Defense has announced over 4000 exercises for this year, which is over 10 times more than what NATO and Allies have planned in the same timeframe,” she noted.
Carmen was referring to a report published by a London-based NGO , The European Leadership Network , which asserted that Russian and NATO exercises indicate they are “preparing for a possible confrontation.”
“NATO has made repeatedly clear that we not seek confrontation with Russia. For over two decades, we have tried to build a cooperative relationship with Russia. But Russia has changed borders by force, continues to support separatists in Ukraine and threatens to base nuclear missiles close to Alliance borders,” said Romero.
She explained that in response, NATO has increased its presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, in order to enhance collective defense. The deputy spokesperson said that NATO military exercises are open to observers, including from Russia and stressed that all NATO exercises are announced months in advance and published on the NATO website. NATO's biggest exercise in more than a decade, Trident Juncture 2015, will take place in autumn in Spain, Italy and Portugal. It was announced one year in advance, she added.