NATO is continuing to prepare for nuclear drills despite heightened tensions with Russia.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has reaffirmed that it will continue to perform yearly nuclear drills despite the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which is fueling concerns about a direct and disastrous confrontation between Moscow and the military bloc of the West.

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, told reporters on Tuesday that this annual drill aims to maintain deterrence in a safe, secure, and efficient manner.

Numerous military aircraft from member nations will take part in the exercise, known as Steadfast Noon, as scheduled for next week. They will practise nuclear strikes while flying in aircraft that ordinarily do not carry nukes.

The West and Russia are now more at risk of a nuclear attack than at any point since the Cuban missile crisis 40 years ago, US Vice President Joe Biden warned last week.

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the nation will deploy nuclear weapons in order to defend its citizens and territory.

When asked whether the 30 NATO nations had discussed the likelihood that the Steadfast Noon exercise led to a math error amid escalating tensions with Russia, Stoltenberg brushed it off.

The time is now to demonstrate absolutely and forcefully that NATO is there to defend all allies. Additionally, this exercise has been in the works for a while—even before the situation in Ukraine started.

Jens Stoltenberg

Stoltenberg claimed that NATO sent the “wrong signal” by cancelling the drill rather than carrying it out.

“We must comprehend that the best method to prevent escalation is NATO’s certainty and predictability. We are there to maintain the status quo, avoid escalation, and stop any assault on NATO partners.

As a result, the risk of an escalation will increase if we now give Moscow room to misinterpret or underestimate our willingness to defend our allies.

This is highly significant, and it becomes much more so in light of President Putin and Russia’s recent nuclear remarks.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, requested last week that NATO launch airstrikes to stop Russia from deploying nuclear weapons. The Ukrainian leader later withdrew the comment, claiming that it had been mistranslated and that he had actually intended government sanctions rather than a “pre-emptive strike” after being accused of beginning a third world war by Moscow.

According to Stoltenberg, NATO is closely watching Russia’s nuclear capabilities and has not yet noticed any changes.

The decision to raise weapon stocks will be decided by NATO ministers on Wednesday, he continued. As a result of the depletion of nuclear stockpiles brought on by help to Ukraine, the press has recently noted that NATO nations are seeking to swiftly restock their arsenals. According to Business Insider, the German army barely has enough ammo to last for one or two days in the event of a war.

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