09:16 GMT21 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The six-day Canadian-led multinational NATO military exercise Steel Brawler is scheduled to begin in Latvia at the Mza Mackevici training ground in the southeastern municipality of Daugavpils on Monday.

    Some 600 troops and 100 military vehicles are expected to be deployed in the area, which is close to Latvia's borders with Lithuania and Belarus. The exercise is aimed at improving cooperation within the multinational alliance in a scenario where they need to protect Europe's eastern border.

    Steel Brawler is part of a broader exercise called Defender Europe 2020 which ended up being significantly reduced in scope due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    NATO soldiers of U.S. take part in a military exercise 'Saber Strike 2018' at the Training Range in Pabrade some 60km (38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, June 11, 2018
    © AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis
    NATO soldiers of U.S. take part in a military exercise 'Saber Strike 2018' at the Training Range in Pabrade some 60km (38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, June 11, 2018

    The drills are scheduled to run through 18 April.

    Last year, the bloc announced plans to boost its presence in Poland and the Baltic States in order to contain the so-called "Russian threat". Moscow has repeatedly stressed that a NATO military build-up would undermine regional stability.

    Tags:
    Latvia, Military Drills, Military Drill, NATO
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