Tag Archives: Nato

Yugoslavi-zation: Ex NATO Chief Urges Dividing Syria Into Three Parts

NATO’s former supreme allied commander James Stavridis has become the latest high-profile backer of dividing Syria into several parts although the strategy hardly enjoys support in the war-torn country and could well lead to Islamic extremists overrunning the greater part of the Arab Republic.

“Like Humpty Dumpty in the children’s nursery rhyme, the odds of putting Syria back together again into a functioning entity appear very low. It is time to consider a partition,” he suggested in an opinion piece for Foreign Policy. Syria could then be divided into three regions governed by Alawites, moderate Sunnis and the Kurds.

The retired four-star US Navy admiral, who currently serves as the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, offered three cases that could serve as a model for Syria. All of them hardly tempting.

“Obviously, the approach for a partition could range from a full break-up of the country (much as Yugoslavia broke up after the death of Marshal Josip Tito); to a very federated system like Bosnia after the Dayton Accords; to a weak but somewhat federated model like Iraq,” he detailed.

These are by no means good options. Take Iraq for instance. The country has not seen peace since the 2003 US invasion. In the years that followed Baghdad has largely unsuccessfully tried to tackle an insurgency that has the potential to break up the country.

Stavridis himself admitted that partitioning is an extremely dangerous scenario to explore. Firstly, it would set what he referred to as a “bad precedent” that would encourage disenfranchised minorities all over the world and potentially lead to “chaotic scenarios.”

Partitions are “also difficult to negotiate, requiring detailed knowledge of the human terrain in a failed state and carving out complex compromises that often leave no one satisfied and can plant the seeds of conflicts yet to come,” he added.

In addition, granting greater autonomy or independence to ethnic minorities could cause major tensions in neighboring countries. Ankara is already carrying out a military campaign against Kurdish militants at home, in Iraq and Syria. One could only guess what steps Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his allies would take if the Syrian Kurds form a state of their own.

Partitions are also “difficult to implement, because most of the parties are unhappy with some aspect of the final deal. Finally, partitions are cumbersome under international law, which generally sides with sovereign states and seeks to support existing unified territory,” he added.In essence, there appears to be no need to consider dividing Syria, taking into account that the UN-backed ceasefire is largely holding and peace talks are slated to start on Monday. Moreover, Syria’s fate could only be determined by its people and should not follow a plan introduced from outside.

Furthermore, in Syria’s case partition could lead to greater violence and misery in a country that has already lost 250,000 lives. “Unfortunately, an immediate partition would effectively cede much of Syria to Sunni extremists,” Stavridis observed.

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‘Efficient, accurate’: Russian air warfare in Syria praised in classified NATO report

The Russian task force in Syria has demonstrated remarkable efficiency and professionalism, according to a German magazine citing confidential NATO analysis.

The limited Russian contingent operating in Syria is outperforming the more widespread groupings of the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition, according to Germany’s FOCUS media outlet who came by the classified NATO document, which was prepared by the alliance’s military experts.

The document points out that Russia deployed 40 warplanes, performing some 75 sorties a day (until the ceasefire came into effect on February 27). The airstrikes, usually delivered on several targets during each combat flight, are “accurate and efficient,” the analysis reportedly says.

The US-led counterterrorist coalition, deploying about 180 warplanes against Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL), strikes only about 20 targets a day. The paper says the number of Russian fighter jets on the ground is “clearly inferior in number” to NATO’s group, but the higher frequency of the Russian air raids makes them more effective.

The US-led counterterrorist coalition has been operating in Iraq and Syria for over a year, while Russia launched its offensive on terrorist groups on September 30, 2015.

The NATO report points out that the Russian task force obtains actual intelligence about important terrorist targets from special forces and spies on the ground, as well as Syrian Air Force aerial reconnaissance.

The Russian Air Force has turned the Syrian battlefield into a test ground for advanced military technologies, such as deploying ultra-modern Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to Syria’s Khmeimim airbase. The plane is believed by many experts to be superior to most existing warplanes, the report claims.

The NATO report acknowledged that it is the highly professional performance of the Russian task force in Syria that made the greatest contribution in putting an end to the cruel “display of power” practiced by terrorists in Syria for years.

The FOCUS media outlet stressed the document never mentions any civilian casualties caused by Russian airstrikes.

According to NATO experts, only 20 percent of Russian airstrikes are delivered on IS militants. The other raids have been allegedly directed against anti-Assad militias, some of which are supported by the West.

The NATO analysis was confirmed by US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby, who acknowledged at a press briefing on Friday that Russia has played the central role in the Syrian peace process. This despite various disagreements between Moscow and Washington, which are co-chairing the International Syria Support Group (ISSG).

“We don’t see eye to eye with Russia on everything, and I am not even talking about outside Syria, even inside what’s going in Syria. There have been and there will probably continue to be disagreements with Russia over various factors there as we move forward, but Russia has taken a leadership role inside the ISSG,” Kirby said, adding the Russians have been helpful and cooperative “in some ways.”

“In other ways we still continue to have issues with them,” Kirby said, unconditionally denying that Washington is “simply yielding concessions” to Moscow.

This is the End: Outer Space Comets Could Destroy Humanity

Astronomers warn that a threat from outer space is more possible than expected, and the sudden end of humanity may be caused not by climate change or space rocks regularly sailing by the Earth, but by a random escapee from the huge distant space bodies orbiting in the Oort Cloud, far beyond Neptune, currently the most distant planet from our Sun.

Centaurs, massive space rocks orbiting on the outskirts of our Solar System, could be very hazardous to the Earth, a group of astronomers said Tuesday, as reported by Phys.org.

These space bodies, composed of ice and dust, and being up to some 50-100 kilometers wide, were discovered several decades ago. Astronomers state that centaurs should be counted as a greater threat than comets, as the “assessment of the extraterrestrial impact risk, based solely on near-Earth asteroid counts, underestimates its nature and magnitude.”

Bill Napier, an astronomer from the University of Buckingham, said that scientists have been thoroughly analyzing the possibility of a collision between the Earth and asteroids for the last 30 years, and have included distant celestial bodies, including centaurs.

“If we are right, then these distant comets could be a serious hazard, and it’s time to understand them better,” Napier claimed.

The centaurs’ orbits, believed to be extremely unstable, cross inside the orbits of enormous gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, about once every 40,000-100,000 years. When it happens, scientists say, the planets’ powerful gravity fields can deflect the centaurs toward the Sun.

On their way to the Sun asteroids begin to fracture, ultimately turning into cometary debris which makes “impacts on our planet inevitable.” Individual centaurs, they point out, can have an estimated mass higher than that of all the comets documented to date.

“The disintegration of such giant comets would produce intermittent but prolonged periods of bombardment lasting up to 100,000 years,” researchers wrote in Astronomy and Geophysics, the journal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

If comet debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere, astronomers suggest, it would cause a heavy meteor shower and trigger dramatic climate change, threatening life on the planet.

“A centaur arrival carries the risk of injecting, into the atmosphere… a mass of dust and smoke comparable to that assumed in nuclear winter studies,” scientists said.

Under that scenario, humanity would follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs, believed to have died out as a result of an asteroid strike. And despite that there is no proof that a collision is imminent, “its ranking among natural existential risks [for humanity] appears to be high,” some astronomers suggested.

NATO Realizes Su-24 Incident to Have Serious Consequences – Russian Envoy

Russian Envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said that NATO member states understand that the downing of a Russian Su-24 strike aircraft by Turkey over Syrian territory will have serious long-term consequences for the alliance.

NATO member states understand that the downing of a Russian Su-24 strike aircraft by Turkey over Syrian territory will have serious long-term consequences for the alliance, Russian Envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Friday.

“The most important thing for NATO, to my mind, is that they understood that such reckless actions, as the decision to shot down a Russian jet, can have long-term consequences for the alliance,” Grushko said in an interview with the television channel Rossiya-24.

Alexander Grushko

On November 24, a Russian Su-24 strike aircraft was brought down in Syria by an air-to-air missile fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter. According to Ankara, the missile was shot in response to the jet’s violation of Turkish airspace.

Both Russian and Syrian defense officials confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace, and was illegally downed in Syria.

 

Hollande makes flying visit to French aircraft carrier hitting Syria

French President Francois Hollande has made a flying visit to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, on station in the eastern Mediterranean.

It is the main base for French jets now pounding ISIL positions in Syria, and along with the defence minister he sought to boost morale and get the latest updates on the progression of the French campaign.

The ship’s precise location is being kept secret and it changes its sailing pattern regularly, although any attack against the French flagship is thought to be beyond ISIL’s capabilities.

Friday was unusual in that there were more NATO and western airstrikes against ISIL in Syria than Iraq, and the Russians were very active too, although they continued to hit any group fighting the Syrian government and not just ISIL targets.

Oil facilities continue to be the target of choice as the international alliance seeks to cut off supplies of cash that the Islamic militants get by illegally selling fuel, which they then spend on weapons. Immobile and easy to hit, their destruction is weakening ISIL.

 

Who will replace Netanyahu as prime minister?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) arrives for a Likud party meeting at the parliament in Jerusalem, Dec. 3, 2014.

For one brief moment during Yair Lapid’s news conference Dec. 3, the newly fired finance minister shifted tone slightly as he read the carefully crafted text from his teleprompter. It happened when one of the journalists asked him whether, given all the harsh criticism he hurled at Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu during his speech, he was also prepared to make a commitment not to join a Netanyahu government after the elections.

“Look at me,” Lapid said directly to a reporter. “Benjamin Netanyahu will not be prime minister after these elections. He made a mistake, and the cost of that mistake is that he will no longer be prime minister.” As he uttered this momentous prediction, he suddenly sounded passionate and excited.

Lapid has a reputation as a courteous politician. Even in the tensest moments, he always made a point of showing respect for Netanyahu. It seems, however, that the orchestrated humiliation that the prime minister put him through this week — culminating in Lapid suddenly being fired from the government — whetted his appetite for vengeance.

The question is how far Lapid is willing to go with an “Anyone but Bibi” tactic. Would he be willing to sit in a coalition with the ultra-Orthodox parties, whom he disqualified as coalition partners after the last elections? At this news conference, Lapid avoided rejecting the ultra-Orthodox categorically, leaving the door open.

Among many of the parties competing for votes, including Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party, the agenda leading this election will not revolve around security issues or the economy. Instead, it will focus on removing Netanyahu from the premier’s residence on Balfour Street, much like the atmosphere that dominated the 1999 election. What will make this campaign difficult is the absence of any single candidate considered a natural alternative to Netanyahu in the prime minister’s office.

When asked at the news conference if he considered himself a candidate for prime minister, Lapid was quick to say “yes.” However, Lapid’s statement hardly corresponds with reality. The latest polls show that his party will lose almost half of its seats, and making matters even worse is that Lapid himself has earned very low marks in surveys gauging his suitability to serve as prime minister.

But Lapid isn’t the only candidate who is not considered an alternative as prime minister. Chairman of the Labor Party Isaac Herzog, Chairman of Yisrael Beitenu Avigdor Liberman, Chairman of HaBayit HaYehudi Naftali Bennett and former Minister Moshe Kahlon with his new party all trail far behind Netanyahu in polls examining who is most suited for the premiership. Even now that Netanyahu is worn down and losing strength, the distance between him and all the other candidates is vast and thus constitutes his main asset.

And yet, given the division trend of the political system, the predominant assessment is that after the next election, there will be only small and mid-sized parties in the Knesset, without a single large party. These elements, combined with the emerging anti-Netanyahu coalition, make the upcoming elections entirely unpredictable. Ostensibly, even the head of a mid-sized party could cobble together a coalition and be appointed prime minister if that person can put all the pieces together. For instance, even with just 10 seats, Liberman can bring together Lapid, Herzog from the Labor Party and the ultra-Orthodox, and become prime minister.

Another possible scenario is a rotation agreement over the premier’s seat between the heads of two mid-sized parties, who manage to put together enough seats to block Netanyahu from forming a coalition. Two potential party heads to do this are Herzog and Liberman, with the latter signaling of late that he is moving from the right to the political center. What is certain, however, is that both Liberman and Herzog believe that becoming prime minister lies within the realm of possibility for them — and they have good reason to believe that, too.

Netanyahu took an enormous gamble when he decided to advance the elections. He only did that after reaching the conclusion that time was not on his side. As opposed to the 2013 elections, his public stature has eroded considerably. His opponents are organizing, and they could well surprise him with an alternative government and remove him from office without elections. Netanyahu’s use of the element of surprise proved itself, at least in this very early stage, by catching the leaders of the center-left parties off guard.

Until recently, Tzipi Livni, the justice minister fired by Netanyahu, used the illusion of a diplomatic process to justify clinging to her seat at the Cabinet table. Very soon, she will be forced to decide which side she will join. Her party, Hatnua, has been getting no more than four seats in the polls, indicating that it has apparently reached the end of the road. This leaves her with two options. She can either join Herzog and the Labor Party or Lapid and Yesh Atid. Both men believe that she can bring them another two or three seats, and in negotiations with them she can demand — and apparently receive — the No. 2 spot on their Knesset list.

What is clear now is that the center-left bloc will not consolidate its forces before the elections. Yesh Atid, the Labor Party and Kahlon’s new party will each run separately and any possible merger will take place only later. Even if the desire to overthrow Netanyahu is the glue that holds them together, feelers and initial meetings held between the parties this week indicate that these parties will run as separate lists, and only join forces after the election. The problem with them running as independent lists is that the center-left parties will end up also investing efforts and resources on competing against each other for the same electorate, which could ultimately harm them in the larger battle against Likud and Netanyahu.

This is just the beginning of one of the strangest election campaigns that Israel has ever seen. Unlike the previous election, in which it was obvious that Netanyahu would continue to serve as prime minister, and unlike all the other, earlier elections — in which two outstanding candidates competed with each other over the post — this time around there is a real chance that after March 17, Netanyahu could find himself out of office. At this point, it remains unclear as to who will take his place. Such a situation has never been seen before.

Lavrov: NATO’s Planned Expansion Into Balkans Is Provocative

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to a translation during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at the 69th U.N. General Assembly in New York, September 24, 2014.

SARAJEVO — NATO’s potential expansion to the former Yugoslav republics of Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro could be seen as a “provocation,” Russia’s foreign minister was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview published Monday.

Moscow has opposed any NATO extension to former communist areas of eastern and southeastern Europe, part of a competition for geo-strategic influence since the end of the Cold War that sits at the heart of the current conflict in ex-Soviet Ukraine.

Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia share an ambition to join the Western military alliance, following in the footsteps of Albania and ex-Yugoslav Croatia, which became members in 2009.

Asked about the integration of the three into NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz: “With regards to the expansion of NATO, I see it as a mistake, even a provocation in a way.

“This is, in a way, an irresponsible policy that undermines the determination to build a system of equal and shared security in Europe, equal for everyone regardless of whether a country is a member of this or that bloc.”

Russia has energy interests in the Balkans and historical ties with the Slavs of the region, many of them Orthodox Christian like the Russians. But Moscow’s influence has waned as the countries of the former Yugoslavia seek to join the European mainstream with membership of the EU and NATO.

The tiny Adriatic republic of Montenegro appears closest to NATO accession. Bosnia’s bid is hostage to ethnic bickering that has slowed reforms, while Macedonia remains blocked by a long-running dispute with neighboring Greece over the name of the landlocked country.

Only Serbia, perhaps Russia’s closest ally in the region, is not actively pursuing membership of NATO given political sensitivities lingering since the alliance’s 1999 air war against then-strongman Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to halt a wave of atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

Lavrov confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would visit Serbia in mid-October to mark the 70th anniversary of Belgrade’s liberation from Nazi occupation by Yugoslav Partisan fighters and the Soviet army.

 

​Libya is now officially a failed state

LIBYA-UNREST-FUEL-FIRE

It is failed in the sense that it does not have a cohesive central government whose writ runs to every part of the country.

And of course it is failed due to the complete absence of the rule of law, and failed most of all by the West whose decision to embark on a disastrous military intervention in 2011, which led directly to the ousting and murder of former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was the catalyst for the disaster that has unfolded in the country since.

Recall the alacrity with which the West jumped aboard the Arab Spring after initially being completely wrong-footed by it when it first broke in Tunisia in late 2010 and immediately thereafter hit Egypt, resulting in the toppling of the Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Both the Ben Ali dictatorship in Tunisia and the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt had been Western clients, lavished with investment, aid, and trade deals even though their prisons were filled with pro-democracy activists and political dissidents. The hypocrisy involved here, you might think, would have shamed those same Western governments – the US, France, and the UK in particular – into non-interference in the face of what appeared to be a region-wide revolutionary movement from below.

But shame is not something that troubles policymakers in Western capitals. When another of their regional allies, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, found his government under pressure as the so-called Arab Spring arrived in Libya next, France, Britain, Italy, and the US performed a complete volte face and backed NATO airstrikes against Libyan military forces on the spurious grounds of protecting civilians.

In truth, Gaddafi was sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik, learning a harsh lesson when it comes to trusting states that had lavished his country with trade deals, oil contracts, and political rehabilitation after decades spent as a pariah. For all their rhetoric about supporting democracy and those struggling for democracy, in truth the only test of a government’s legitimacy in the eyes of the West is its willingness and ability to advance their economic and strategic interests.

Smoke billows from an area near Tripoli’s international airport as fighting between rival factions around the capital’s airport continues on July 24, 2014.

The key lesson to emerge from the Arab Spring, in fact, has been how adept the Western powers are when it comes to adapting to shifting conditions on the ground. The notion of Washington, London, or Paris being concerned with the protection of innocent human life and upholding the human and democratic rights of the people of the Arab world should by now have been so comprehensively refuted by their actions since the end of the First World War that only those drawing their arguments from a deep well of mendacity or ignorance would dare suggest otherwise.

Libya in 2014 has descended into an abyss of lawlessness of chaos and violence as a direct consequence of NATO’s intervention back in 2011. With the recent announcement by the British Foreign Office warning all British citizens in Libya to leave the country immediately due to the ramping up of violence between the various factions that have emerged from the chaos, the truth in this regard cannot longer be denied.

Libya’s value – the real reason it came in for intervention – is of course its considerable oil reserves, the largest in Africa estimated at around 47 billion barrels’ worth. Its proximity to European markets and the quality of its oil making it easier to refine only enhances its attraction to Western oil companies.

Most of Libya’s oil deposits are located in the east of the country, where opposition against the Gaddafi regime began and was strongest. The former Libyan leader had signed oil exploration contracts with a number of Western oil companies, part of the process of him opening Libya up to the West, and prior to mounting the NATO intervention that brought his government down guarantees were given by the rebels that those contracts would continue post-Gaddafi.

Three years later the country is in complete turmoil, riven with factionalism, gang violence, and the absence of a strong central government. This is the consequence of NATO’s military intervention, yet another staged by the West that can be categorized as disastrous.

Western colonialism and imperialism has never been more exposed as they have when it comes to Libya.

A leader who could once boast of a phone book containing the numbers of world leaders and royalty, who’d opened up his country for business with Western corporations and governments, Gaddafi was left to be slaughtered like an animal by an armed mob as he tried to flee his home town of Sirte during the fighting, the motorcade he was travelling in stopped by a NATO airstrike.

The Libya that once boasted the highest level of development of any African nation, where the standard of education, housing, infrastructure, and health stood as a beacon in a region that has long labored under the depredations and ravages of free market capitalism; the Libya that helped set up the African Union and invested billions in development projects throughout the African continent, working tirelessly for African unity – this Libya has been destroyed.

74% of Germans oppose permanent NATO bases in Poland and Baltics

Soldiers from the US Pennsylvania National Guard take part in a field training exercise during the first phase Saber Strike 2014, at the Rukla military base, Lithuania, on June 14, 2014.

Nearly three-quarters of Germans oppose having permanent NATO military bases in Poland and the Baltic states as a buffer against Russia, a new poll reveals. The opinion reflects a growing trend within Europe opposing further NATO eastern expansion.

In the Forsa poll for the Internationale Politik magazine’s latest edition slated for Friday, 74 percent of those surveyed were against the idea, while only 18 percent supported it, Reuters reports. Opposition to NATO expansion in Eastern Europe remains highest in former Communist eastern Germany, Forsa said.

Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – all former members of the Soviet bloc – fear that Russia poses a military threat following recent events in Ukraine, and have asked for further security guarantees from their NATO partners.

Poland first proposed the idea of increasing the US military presence in Eastern Europe, with Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak calling on the Pentagon to deploy as many as 10,000 American troops in his country in April.

The Three Baltic States welcomed the idea that same month.

As a result, thousands of NATO troops held exercises in the region earlier this month, NATO warships have intensified patrols in the Baltic Sea, and jet fighters have likewise stepped up their air patrols.

The alliance has tripled the number of fighter jets based in the Baltics and NATO’s top military commander, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said in May that NATO would consider permanently stationing troops in Eastern Europe.

Russia claims that would violate a 1997 agreement, in which both sides committed to avoid “any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, to include Central and Eastern Europe.”

Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the “artificial attempt” to continue NATO’s eastward expansion would be “counterproductive.”

Germany is not the only country which feels uncomfortable about an increased NATO presence in Eastern Europe.

Earlier this month, two eastern European states – Slovakia and the Czech Republic – both refused to host foreign troops and military bases on their territories.

The announcements came just days after US President Barack Obama announced a plan to invest $1 billion dollars in ramping up its military presence in Eastern Europe.

Russian stealth corvette put British Navy on alert off Danish coast – media

The Soobrazitelny head corvette

A British frigate was dispatched to track a mysterious battleship that covertly sneaked in close to Denmark’s coast. The ship turned out to be Russian stealth corvette conducting a complex checkout of battle systems, according to British media.

Russian naval drills in the Baltic Sea drew some heat after British HMS Montrose (a type 23 frigate) had to establish line-of-sight range with an unidentified warship cruising off the territorial waters of NATO-member Denmark on June 19.

In harsh conditions of 30 knot winds, British sailors identified the warship as Russia’s 104-metre-long RFS Soobrazitelny (Project 20381), Steregushy-class stealth corvette, armed with a vast arsenal of anti-ship and air-defense missiles, and anti-submarine torpedoes.

Steregushchy lead ship

“We picked up a vessel on our radar that was not showing any of the normal behavior expected of merchant vessels or allied warships,” said Lieutenant Chloe Lea, HMS Montrose’s watch officer, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“We have seen the Russians operate a lot in this area, but this is the closest we have seen them,” she said.

The Royal Navy’s HMS Montrose, based in Plymouth, has a crew of 205 and is armed with Sea Wolf missiles, Harpoon missiles, and Sting Ray torpedoes.

The RFS Soobrazitelny’s basic weapon is an X-35 (NATO code SS-N-25 Switchblade) Uran anti-ship missile complex, Redut anti-air missiles and Paket–NK torpedoes.

Both Russian warships and aircraft were conducting routine maneuvers in international waters, so the British ship left the area.

While HMS Montrose was tracking Soobrazitelny, a Russian Ilyushin IL-20 “Coot” maritime patrol aircraft was circling the British ship, analyzing the radar target signature of the Royal Navy destroyer.

“Both the Russian vessel and aircraft appeared to be carrying out their normal business,” the British Ministry of Defense acknowledged in a statement.

HMS Montrose was taking part in the BALTOPS multinational reinforced exercise that included 14 countries, the biggest NATO military drills in Eastern Europe since the Ukraine political crisis entered its critical phase.

“All our interaction so far has been professional and effective, and we have gained huge benefit from working so closely with our allies in such a busy and challenging environment,” said Commander James Parkin, commanding officer of HMS Montrose.

Soobrazitelny corvette

Three warships of the Steregushy-class stealth corvette series, the prototype Stereguschy, accompanied by Soobrazitelny and Boiky production line ships, have taken part in the latest naval drills, conducting missile firing tests and practicing landings of on-board helicopters in various conditions, including at night time and in motion.

Two days prior to the latest naval encounter, three RAF Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled to head off four separate groups of Russian aircraft taking part in drills in the Baltic.