03:31 GMT +313 December 2019
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    A serviceman of the CSTO's Collective Rapid Deployment Forces hold the Interaction 2015 joint drill in the Pskov Region

    Post-Soviet Military Bloc’s Drills are Long Planned, Not Response to NATO

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    According to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Interaction-2015 military exercises were approved last year and have nothing to do with drills in Western countries.

    PSKOV (Sputnik) — The Collective Security Treaty Organization's (CSTO) Interaction-2015 drills are long planned, and not a response to current NATO exercises, the organization's Deputy Secretary General Valery Semerikov said Monday.

    "I would not like to see our exercises considered a reaction to the fact that NATO currently carries out exercises in Western countries. Our drills are planned, they were approved last year by defense ministers and security council secretaries," Semerikov told reporters.

    The Interaction-2015 exercises, held on August 24-28 in northwestern Russia, involve units from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. More than 2,000 personnel and 200 pieces of military hardware from the CSTO rapid response forces take part in the joint drills.

    NATO's simultaneous multinational airborne operations, named Swift Response 15, are being held across Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania. Over 4,800 troops from 11 countries are participating in the largest NATO exercises in Europe since the end of the Cold War, running until September 13.

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    Tags:
    military exercises, military drills, Collective Security Treaty Organization, Russia
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