08:04 GMT +320 June 2019
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    Soldiers take pictures of military aircrafts taking part in the opening ceremony of NATO’s large scale exercise Trident Juncture 2015 at the Italian Air Force Base in Trapani, Sicily

    Stoltenberg Calls NATO Exercises in Southern Europe a ‘Warning’ to Russia

    © AFP 2019 / MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO
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    NATO is ready to quickly deploy ground, air or navy forces if necessary. The Trident Juncture military exercise gives a clear signal to any potential opponent of NATO, including Russia, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with Spanish newspaper ABC.

    Stoltenberg said that the Trident Juncture military exercise carried out in the south of Europe is a warning to all potential enemies of NATO, including Russia.

    The active phase of the exercise started in Spain, Portugal and Italy on October 21 and will last until November 6. The training involves a total of 36,000 troops from 30 countries, including non-NATO Austria and Sweden, as well as 140 aircraft, 90 ships and submarines.

    According to Stoltenberg, the Trident Juncture exercise gives a clear signal that NATO is ready to defend the alliance against any threat. NATO is currently adapting to the new reality characterized by instability and violence in the Middle East and North Africa, Stoltenberg said.

    He also added that NATO is increasing its capability to respond to various crisis situations and raising the readiness of its forces to rapid deployment.

    However, the alliance’s military activities caused strong discontent among residents of southern European countries where the training is taking place.

    Last week, hundreds of anti-NATO protesters marched through the streets of the Spanish capital of Madrid, the Italian city of Naples and the Portuguese capital of Lisbon holding banners and chanting slogans against the Trident Juncture 2015 exercise and NATO in general.

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    NATO, military exercises, Jens Stoltenberg, Europe, Russia
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