MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia notified the countries of the Organization of Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE) of its planned large-scale snap combat readiness exercises in advance, though Moscow was not obliged, the Russian deputy defense minister said Tuesday.
“The member states of the OSCE in goodwill were notified of…the snap combat readiness exercises by the troops from the Northern Fleet that include individual units from the Western Military District,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov was quoted by the ministry’s press services as saying.
According to Antonov, the number of military personnel and hardware involved in the exercises does not exceed the level stipulated in the 2011 Vienna agreement.
“The total number of these forces and hardware stands at: 8,700 servicemen, approximately 40 tanks, 400 military armored vehicles, 100 artillery systems of over 100 millimeters, 70 military planes, and 30 helicopters,” Antonov was quoted as saying.
On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the country's Northern Fleet's combat readiness drills would assess the fleet's capabilities of fulfilling tasks to provide Russian military security in the Arctic region.
According to the defense minister, the drills will take place from March 16 to 21 and will include land, sea and air activities.
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