Russia conducts drills in Baltic Sea, coinciding with NATO exercises
The Baltic Sea will witness traffic as the Russian Baltic Fleet, on the one hand, and NATO countries and allies, on the other, are set to conduct military drills simultaneously.
The press service of the Russian Baltic Fleet confirmed on Saturday that the anti-submarine ships of the Leningrad Naval Base will conduct search and destroy drills for hypothetical enemy submarines in the maritime zone of the Gulf of Finland.
In a press release, the Fleet indicated that the strike group of ships departed from the Leningrad Naval Base of the Baltic Fleet to carry out a number of missions.
In addition, the crews of the ships will be trained to lay mines, fire artillery systems at sea and air targets, and carry out joint maneuvering tasks.
The press release noted that the drills were planned in advance as part of the Baltic Fleet's combat training plan.
The Russian drills come following the Latvian Defense Ministry's announcement that 14 NATO countries, in addition to Sweden and Finland, will participate in international military exercises named Baltops in the Baltic Sea from June 5-17.
16 countries will participate in military exercises in Baltic Sea
According to the Latvian Ministry, the NATO countries participating in the military exercises are the US, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Turkey, in addition to the non-NATO countries Finland and Sweden.
The participating countries will demonstrate their readiness to ensure the joint defense of the Baltic region and the implementation of the deterrence policy, mentioned the Ministry.
The exercises will include a number of tactical operations involving allied ships, aircraft, and armored personnel carriers in Latvian territorial waters, including the Marines.
One of the largest military exercises in Northern Europe
Baltops is one of the largest military exercises in Northern Europe, where more than 4,000 soldiers, 60 aircraft, and 40 ships of various types will take part.
On the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Swedish Navy, the exercises will begin in Stockholm and will be followed by tactical maneuvers in the waters of the Baltic Sea and in the airspace of the region, ending in the German port of Kiel.
The exercises will demonstrate the readiness of the NATO joint forces to control the Baltic Sea and the ability to transfer large military forces in a short time to anywhere in the Baltic region.