NATO Plans Military Exercises Near Russian Border

From RIA Novosti:  NATO has announced it will hold military exercises involving fighter planes over the Baltic Sea this month, the first in a series of military drills to be held this year near the Russian border.

The Baltic Region Training Event training mission will take place over the former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and will involve French Mirage 2000C, Polish F-16, and Lithuanian L-39 Albatross fighters, along with U.S. aerial tankers.

The exercises will demonstrate "NATO solidarity and commitment to its member countries in the Baltic region," a spokesman for the Allied Air Headquarters said.

The military events will continue in June in northern Estonia, where up to 500 U.S. Marines and Estonian soldiers will be involved in a ten-day drills about a hundred km from the Russian border, Russia’s Kommersant daily said on Thursday. 

Another joint military exercise of NATO and the Baltic states will be held in Latvia this autumn. Involving over 2,000 personnel from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the U.S., the exercise will be the largest in the area since the three countries joined the alliance in 2004.  (photo: Igor Chuprin/RIA Novosti)

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