NATO launched Arctic Challenge Exercise in the north of Norway, Sweden and Finland

May 27, 2015 17:17 IST

NATO on 26 May 2015 launched the Arctic Challenge Exercise based in the north of Norway, Sweden and Finland. The exercise involves 115 fighter planes and 3600 troops from nine countries.

The participant countries include all NATO members like the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands as well as neutral Switzerland.

This exercise is the second of its kind, first similar tests was conducted in 2013.

Apart from this, Russia also on 26 May 2015 begun a four-day-long massive military exercise and described it as a massive surprise inspection, to check combat readiness. The exercise involves 12000 soldiers and around 250 aircraft, including long-range bombers carrying cruise missiles.

This Russian military exercise has coincided with an Arctic training exercise by NATO and has raised debate.

Russian military exercise on the same day when NATO military alliance launched their training exercise may raise tensions with West over Russia’s role in conflict in Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in fourth week of May 2015 said that the large number of snap exercises conducted by Russia decreases transparency and practicability. But Russia has defended the exercise by terming that these drills are part of preparation for a larger exercise known as Center-2015, which will be held later in 2015.

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