Jens Stoltenberg: The US Military Exercise in Europe is not Directed against Russia
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured today that the upcoming major US military exercise in Europe is not aimed at Russia, AFP reported.
Exercise "Defender-Europe 20" will be the largest American transatlantic military deployment in 25 years.
About 37,000 troops from 18 countries will take part in the May and June maneuvers, mainly in Germany, Poland and the Baltic States.
The exercise “shows the strong U.S. commitment to NATO and to the freedom and security of Europe,” Stoltenberg said.
“Defender Europe is not directed against any particular country,”
“This defensive exercise demonstrates the ability to rapidly move a large force from the United States to Europe to help protect other NATO Allies, if needed,” he added.
After years of declining military numbers in Europe since the end of the Cold War, this deployment of troops is a reflection of the situation following the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in 2014, AFP noted.
“Russia has every right to feel safe within its borders, but so do our member states,” said Stoltenberg.
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