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Tensions with Russia: NATO holds major military exercises in the Mediterranean


NATO anticipates Russia's planned naval maneuvers and leaves a US aircraft carrier in European waters - for "calming down". Meanwhile, there seems to be a dispute over missile deliveries to Ukraine.

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The US aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman remains unscheduled in the Mediterranean



Amid tensions with Russia over the Ukraine conflict, NATO is holding a major military exercise in the Mediterranean.

The US aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman, among others, will take part in the naval maneuvers starting next Monday, as the spokesman for the US Department of Defense, John Kirby, said.

The exercise, called "Neptune Strike 22," is scheduled to last until February 4.

Kirby stressed that the maneuvers had nothing to do with current fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"The exercise is not designed for the type of scenarios that could play out with regard to Ukraine," the Pentagon spokesman said.

The maneuver had also been planned for a long time.

However, "Neptune Strike 22" was not on a list of military exercises planned for 2022 published by NATO in December.

According to Kirby, given the current tensions with Russia, the maneuver has been put to the test.

Ultimately, however, the NATO partners decided to stick to the maneuver.

Russia announced large-scale naval maneuvers in the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific and Mediterranean on Thursday.

A total of more than 140 ships and 10,000 soldiers are expected to take part in the exercises planned for January and February.

Germany apparently blocks Estonian arms shipments to Ukraine

The aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman and its escort ships have been in the Mediterranean since mid-December.

The warship was supposed to be relocated, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin decided to leave it in the Mediterranean to "reassure" Europeans about tensions with Russia.

Meanwhile, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania want to supply US-made anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine.

This was announced by the defense ministries of the three EU and NATO member states in a joint statement.

This should strengthen Ukraine's defense capability.

Estonia will supply Javelin anti-tank missiles, Latvia and Lithuania Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other equipment.

The United States agreed to the delivery of US-made weapons to Ukraine.

"We sincerely hope that Ukraine will not have to use this equipment and call on the Russian Federation to stop its aggressive and irresponsible behavior," the statement said.

Germany, on the other hand, is blocking Estonian military supplies to Ukraine, according to the Wall Street Journal. The NATO ally will not be given permission to send artillery pieces made in Germany, it said, citing Estonian and German authorities. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) again refused arms deliveries on Friday – the USA, Great Britain and Poland, on the other hand, had agreed to send arms to Ukraine.

Because of massive Russian troop movements with around 100,000 Russian soldiers on the Ukrainian border, the West fears an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow argues that the troop deployment is taking place on Russian territory and therefore threatens “no one”.

For weeks, the West has been threatening Moscow with massive consequences if it invades Ukraine.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-01-21

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