Tuesday 27 September 2016

Russia 'straining relationship with Nato through unannounced exercises'

Published 29/08/2016 | 14:26

An RAF F3 Tornado shadows a Russian Bear-H aircraft (MoD/PA)
An RAF F3 Tornado shadows a Russian Bear-H aircraft (MoD/PA)

Russia is straining its relationship with Nato by holding unannounced military exercises, said the Western military alliance's deputy secretary general.

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Russia had staged large drills with no advance notification with increasing frequency, said Alexander Vershbow.

He said there had been about a dozen in the past two years.

Russia's drills are allowed by a loophole in a security agreement signed with Western countries, said Mr Vershbow on a visit to Bucharest.

He said Nato wants to "develop a more stringent regime to increase transparency and ...predictability and a way to better stabilise what is a very unsatisfactory relationship with Russia."

Alliance members have not staged snap drills since the end of the Cold War, said Mr Vershbow.

Nato members Poland and Romania are uneasy about Russia's military presence near their borders.

AP

Press Association

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