NATO Chief Urges Russia to Avoid Snap Military DrillsWorld | May 27, 2015, Wednesday // 15:49| views
US President Barack Obama meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, DC, USA on 26 May 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has urged Russia to avoid holding snap military drills.
Russia on Monday launched snap exercises to test the combat readiness of air defence and air force units in its Central Military District.Some 12,000 personnel and 250 aircraft are taking part in the four-day exercises which coincide with an earlier announced military drill of NATO forces over the Arctic that also started on Monday. Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov has said that Moscow notified the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) about its drills.
“Every nation has the right to exercise its forces, also Russia, but they should do it in a more transparent and predictable way to avoid any misunderstandings," Stoltenberg told CBS News channel on Tuesday. "We urge Russia not to...do these kinds of snap exercises."
In a related development, Stoltenberg and US President Barack Obama discussed critical issues being addressed by NATO during a press briefing in Washington on Tuesday following a bilateral meeting at the White House.
“We had a chance to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the increasingly aggressive posture that Russia has taken, and we affirmed that NATO is the cornerstone not just of transatlantic security but in many ways is the cornerstone for global security,” the US Defence Department quoted Obama as saying in remarks after the meeting.