Posted: 07.02.2024 14:48:00

Deputy assessed reasons and goals of large-scale NATO drills in Europe

What does NATO want to achieve by planning to conduct the Steadfast Defender – the largest exercise in decades – near the Union State borders? Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly Igor Martynov expressed his opinion on the reasons and consequences of these military drills that are expected to last three months (starting from late January) and involving over 90,000 troops.


“Experts say that this figure is even underestimated,” noted Igor Martynov. “All thirty-one NATO countries will be involved, including even Sweden.”

The deputy suggests to look back two year ago, “At that time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke about increasing the bloc’s strength in Europe up to 300,000 troops. Now this process is underway, with serious forces being pumped up and transferred from the continental part of North America. The main party in the NATO is played by the United States. It is clear that some of the forces allegedly transferred for the exercise won’t return. The second reason for conducting these military drills is that if there is a hot conflict with Russia in Europe, it will not be possible to send large forces from North America.”

The third goal is to show NATO’s strength and unity. Naturally, together with Russia we will defend our borders. In recent time, Vladimir Putin demonstratively visited Kaliningrad and held a number of meetings. At this time, seven Western bloc reconnaissance aircraft were flying along the borders with the region; this shows how afraid they are of us. The drills are the bloc’s hysteria. Another fact is that for the first time – despite the peaceful name – they do not hide the intentions of the drills, using real co-ordinates and maps of Belarus and Russia. This is an intimidating factor, and we cannot stay calm.”

But at the same time, we will know what the alliance’s forces are aiming at and against whom they want to unleash aggression, the expert noted. Moreover, this is also an attempt to divert Russian troops from the zone of the special military operation.

“Our Union State will strengthen its group of forces in the border areas in order to monitor the progress of the drills and be ready to repel the threat,” Igor Martynov noted. “Such actions are another way to increase sanctions pressure. At the same time, I personally assess the chance of the war going into a hot phase as low: for now, it is more profitable for NATO members to ‘fuel’ Ukraine rather than open a second front.”