The states expect Russia’s nuclear exercises. You know what NATO will do
The United States believes Russia is likely to conduct a missile test during its annual “Thunder” exercise of its strategic nuclear forces, possibly in a few days, Reuters reported on Monday, citing a senior US military official.
Under the New START treaty, Russia is required to give advance notice about launches of this type of rockets. “We have not received any kind of official notification,” said a US official, reserving anonymity.
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“We expect Russia to hold its annual Grom nuclear exercise in October,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last Thursday. Earlier, similar maneuvers were announced by NATO.
As Kirby said during a virtual press conference, the United States will take part in an exercise code-named “Steadfast Noon”, including by sending their B-52 bombers. He also noted that the maneuvers are routine, will not include nuclear weapons and were planned before the Russian invasion.
The exercises by Russian nuclear forces pose another challenge for the United States and its allies, as President Vladimir Putin openly threatens to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia in the event of a failed invasion of Ukraine, reminds Reuters.
Nevertheless, as Reuters points out, Western officials have expressed confidence that they can distinguish Russian exercises from any moves by Putin to meet his threats.
According to US intelligence assessments, the probability of a nuclear attack is still considered low, but Putin, pressed to the wall by the Ukrainian counter-offensive, can do anything.
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