Steadfast Defender 2024: Bulgaria says NATO exercise aims to show it is ready to defend territory

Balkans
Mon, 22 Jan 2024 8:40 GMT
Drill does not intend to have impact on war in Ukraine, according to deputy foreign minister.
Steadfast Defender 2024: Bulgaria says NATO exercise aims to show it is ready to defend territory

NATO's upcoming Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise, which will start later this month and run through May, aims to show Russia that the alliance is ready to defend its territory, Bulgaria's deputy defense minister said on Sunday.

NATO armed forces are sending a signal to Russia that we are ready to defend our territory resolutely. NATO countries must take this threat seriously, modernize our armed forces, increase their readiness and show determination. Only in this way can we dissuade an aggressor from such actions,” Atanas Zapryanov told public broadcaster Radio Bulgaria.

Zapryanov said it is a defense exercise, and does not intend to have any impact on Russia's war in Ukraine.

The security grouping says Steadfast Defender 2024 will be the largest NATO exercise in decades, with 90,000 forces from all 31 allies and Sweden.

"It will demonstrate our transatlantic unity, strength, and ability to deploy forces rapidly, across thousands of kilometers, in any conditions," it said in a statement earlier this week.

Russia launched its “special military operation” in Ukraine in February 2022. Moscow says the West is conducting a "hybrid war" against Russia by backing Kyiv through financial and military aid.

AA-YeniŞafak

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