19:47 GMT +316 January 2019
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    General view of the main entrance of the NATO headquarters in Brussels

    NATO Proposes to Change Drill Notification Rules Due to Russian Activity

    © AFP 2018 / GERARD CERLES
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    NATO is concerned about Russia holding – without prior notification - snap military exercises and combat readiness checks which are not monitored by international observers, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

    NATO has proposed changes to the rules of notification about military drills to have the possibility to observe snap combat readiness checks in Russia, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press-conference in Spain.

    "There are rules and norms that were agreed by NATO and Russia. They are notification procedures elaborated within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. But I’m worried because the existing norms and requirements have exceptions for snap and other less significant exercises," Stoltenberg was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

    According to Stoltenberg, Russia has conducted numerous exercises without any prior notification to NATO.

    Russia uses "blank spaces" and exceptions in the regulatory mechanisms and does not invite observes to many its drills and combat readiness checks, he said.

    That creates a reason for concerns and the need to modernize the existing norms and agreements and settle the issue of inviting observers to military drills.

    NATO will examine the norms and procedure to achieve transparency over the military drills issue, Stoltenberg added.


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