On water, in the air and in orbit
Moscow also announced joint maneuvers with China and Iran
Additional forces are rehearsing a war on the EU’s borders in Belarus
Russia announced on Thursday the start of naval exercises in January and February in the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean, AFP reported, citing an official statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“A total of more than 140 warships and support ships, more than 60 aircraft, 1,000 units of military equipment and about 10,000 servicemen will take part in them,” the statement said. The Russian Ministry of Defense emphasizes that these maneuvers will be carried out both “in the waters and seas to which Russian territory has access” and “ocean areas around the world, of essential operational importance.”
“Specific exercises will be held in the waters of the Mediterranean, the North Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, in the northeastern Atlantic and in the Pacific. These naval maneuvers in all directions are organized “according to the plan for the preparation of the Russian Armed Forces for 2022.”
“The main purpose of these exercises is to synchronize the naval, air and space forces to protect Russia’s national interests in the world’s oceans to counter military threats against Russia from the seas and oceans,” the ministry said in a statement.
While relations between the West and the Kremlin are at their lowest point amid fears of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry also said that parallel military preparations are under way, Moscow also plans to conduct joint naval maneuvers with Iran and China, dates not announced. International observers recall that the Black Sea region is the subject of the most serious tensions, with Russia accusing the West and Ukraine of threatening the security of the annexed Crimean peninsula.
This week, Russia announced the deployment of troops and weapons to Belarus as “emergency exercises” in preparation for battles on the EU-Ukraine borders. The information comes amid a series of diplomatic shuttles and meetings between representatives of Moscow, the United States and NATO allies, the last two weeks, which are due to end today in Geneva with talks between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. On Thursday morning, US President Joe Biden told a news conference in Washington that the Kremlin was preparing provocations against Western allies and threatened a serious response in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.