NATO To Stage Exercises In West Ukraine, Russia To Stage Exercises In Southern Russia
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 3, 2014
What could go wrong? In a sign of increasing tensions both NATO and Russia will be staging high profile military exercises aimed at influencing the crisis in Ukraine. The escalation of military posturing comes after escalations of rhetoric.
NATO announced it will still be conducting a Rapid Trident exercise from September 16th to the 26th in Yavoriv, Ukraine near the Ukraine-Poland border. More than 1,000 NATO troops and will be the first exercise to include US forces since the crisis began in Ukraine. NATO had already announced that it would be creating a 4,000 strong spearhead rapid response force that could be assembled and sent in to Ukraine or elsewhere in Easter Europe within 48 hours.
Russia has announced it will be conducting an exercise, also in September, involving 4,000 troops including personnel from Russia’s strategic rocket forces. The exercises will take place in southern Russia in the Altai Republic. Russia said it will be revising its military doctrine after the crisis in Ukraine and tension with NATO according to a Russian security officer who spoke to Reuters.
As these mirror military exercises are set to go on related to the Ukraine crisis, NATO is meeting with Ukraine representatives to talk about an alliance creating Russian outrage.
Mr. Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Italy will meet with President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine to discuss the crisis in his country, which will also be the topic of an afternoon meeting where allies will consider sending additional assistance to Kiev.
Before they met, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, warned that Ukraine’s efforts to form an alliance with NATO threatened to short-circuit talks to end the fighting between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine.
NATO does not seem to have any problems with Ukraine remaining in crisis though it is a genuine question as to how far they want to push Russia. If the military exercises in Ukraine and highly visible discussions with Poroshenko are any indication, NATO wants to push Russia further still.