Nuclear Drills Being Performed By NATO

NATO will conduct long-planned nuclear drills next week. The drill will take place regardless of escalating tensions in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that he is not bluffing about using all available means to defend Russian territory said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday.

The exercise, called “Steadfast Noon,” is held every year and lasts roughly a week. It entails fighter planes capable of carrying nuclear warheads but no live bombs. Conventional jets, as well as observation and refueling aircraft, frequently participate. This is regular training that takes place every year to maintain “our deterrent safe, secure, and effective,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to reporters on Tuesday.

Its goal is to guarantee that key alliance people and equipment are prepared for a worst-case scenario and, in the current context, to offer alliance members a “feeling of security,” according to NATO ambassadors.

The drill, planned before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, would feature 14 of NATO’s 30 member countries. According to a NATO official, the major component of the exercises will take place more than 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) away from Russia.

However, the drills coincide with Putin’s recent escalation of nuclear-weapons threats, in which he warned the West that he was not kidding, despite warnings from Western governments that such an action would be greeted with “strong repercussions.”

The abrupt cancellation of a long-planned drill due to the conflict in Ukraine would send a very bad signal. That would be the exact wrong signal to convey, Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

Before the meeting of NATO defense ministers this week, the United States Permanent Representative to the military alliance, Julianne Smith, told Euronews that her country would not accept any nuclear threats from Russia. She further stated that there would be terrible consequences if they were deployed. Smith said on Tuesday that they had sent a message to the Russians pretty plainly that any use of nuclear weapons would be dealt with extraordinary repercussions.

The situation is under constant monitoring; she added that her colleagues back in Washington say that right now, they do not see a sign that Russia is prepared to deploy nuclear weapons.

NATO’s firm, predictable approach, as well as our military capability, he continued, is the best way to avert escalation. We would heighten the risk of escalation if we now established the conditions for any misconceptions or miscalculations in Moscow about our commitment to protect and defend all friends, stated Stoltenberg.

With the Russian army retreating in the face of Ukrainian forces armed with Western weaponry, Putin increased the stakes by annexing four Ukrainian areas and authorizing a partial mobilization of up to 300,000 reservists to shore up the eroding front line.

Russia’s nuclear policy calls for a nuclear attack in response to aggression against the Russian Federation using conventional weapons when the state’s basic life is endangered.

Per the Federation of American Scientists, the Russian Federation has 5,977 nuclear weapons, whereas the United States has 5,428, making it the world’s largest nuclear power.

As his war preparations have failed, Putin has frequently indicated that he may turn to nuclear weapons to safeguard Russian gains. The threat is also intended to prevent NATO states from supplying more advanced weaponry to Ukraine.

NATO, as an organization, possesses no weapons. The nuclear weapons theoretically tied to NATO are still firmly in the hands of three member countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. The alliance’s secretive Nuclear Planning Group will convene among military ministers on Thursday.

Stoltenberg called Putin’s increasing nuclear language “dangerous and reckless,” emphasizing that the allies have also stated clearly to Russia that using nuclear weapons in any form will have catastrophic repercussions.

We are keeping a careful eye on Russia’s nuclear forces, Stoltenberg added. We have noticed no changes in Russia’s position, but we remain on high alert.

NATO is ready for any danger, any assault, even a nuclear threat – this was vital before the invasion of Ukraine and has become much more critical since Stoltenberg added.

By providing effective deterrence and defense, we are reducing the possibility of escalation, he continued.