KIEV, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – All joint NATO-Ukraine military exercises scheduled to take place this year on the territory of Ukraine will take place as planned, Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO, Ambassador Ihor Dolgov told the Ukrinform news agency Wednesday.
"By developing our capabilities and possibilities of interaction with member states of the alliance, we will thus improve the combat effectiveness of our Armed Forces, their readiness to work together with partners. A great deal of work is being done for this purpose. Firstly, all military exercises planned on Ukrainian territory will be held," Dolgov said as quoted by Ukrinform.
The ambassador also said that Ukraine plans to continue cooperating with its military colleagues from Poland and Lithuania.
"The issue concerns the creation of the Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade. This will be the formation that can efficiently interact and be fully compatible with the armed forces of the alliance's countries," Dolgov noted.
On Tuesday, it was reported that the United States plans to go ahead with the Rapid Trident military exercise, scheduled to take place in western Ukraine later this month, despite the ongoing hostilities in southeastern Ukraine.
The Rapid Trident exercise is expected to involve up to 1,000 servicemen from NATO countries and other US allies. Originally scheduled to take place in July, at the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine's border with Poland, the exercise was put off until September 16-26 due to the Kiev government’s ongoing military operation against independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine.
Moscow continues to insist on an immediate end to Kiev’s “punitive operation” in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed the lives of more than 2,500 civilians and resulted in 6,000 injured, according to the latest figures from the United Nations.
Moscow is also concerned by NATO's plans on the improvement and modernization of the alliance's rapid response force. Russia has criticized NATO’s actions, arguing they lead to greater instability in the region.