Russia, NATO to Hold Joint Black Sea Drills

MOSCOW, May 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and NATO will conduct a joint naval exercise in the Black Sea this coming fall, Russia’s envoy to NATO said on Tuesday.


The exercise, to be held under the aegis of the NATO-Russia Council, is part of the Cooperative Airspace Initiative, Russia’s NATO envoy Alexander Grushko told a news conference at RIA Novosti.


The drills will rehearse operations to deal with a terrorist threat from the air, he said, adding that Turkey, Poland and Norway will be among the countries taking part.


At the same news conference, Grushko criticized a NATO exercise codenamed Steadfast Jazz 2013 due to be held in November, saying it is based on Cold War logic, which is a source of worry for Russia.


The exercise scenario envisions a military clash, partial occupation of a territory and restoration of the country’s territorial integrity, he said, adding that the field action of the drills will take place in the Baltic states and on Polish territory.


“That cannot but arouse our concern,” the envoy said.


According to NATO command, the primary purpose of Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 – to be held in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland – is “to certify command and control elements of the NATO Response Force.”

The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a force that can be tailored to meet the needs of a specific mission, and is able to move quickly whenever and wherever it is needed.


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