The “Cold Response 2022” exercise – already planned before Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February – aims to ensure that Norway can take in teams from other countries in the event of an attack by a third country, at home. The scope of Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which obligates member states to help others who belong to the same organization.
“It is a defensive exercise (…). It is not a military operation with an offensive objective,” said Norwegian General Yengvi Udlow, who is in charge of operations, quoting AFP (Agence France Presse).
These military exercises – land, sea, amphibious and air – are organized every two years in large parts of the territory of Norway, a country that considers Russia one of its neighbors.
The exercise includes 200 aircraft and about 50 ships and will continue until April 1.
Moscow this year refused to send monitors.
The Russian embassy in Oslo, the Norwegian capital, commented last week that “the strengthening of NATO’s military capabilities near the border with Russia does not contribute to strengthening the security of the region.”
In light of this situation, the official in charge of NATO operations said at these exercises that he expects the Kremlin to honor existing agreements.
As in previous editions, Cold Response 2022 welcomes the presence of Sweden and Finland, which do not belong to NATO, but have reached out to the organization in recent years. The invasion of Ukraine revived the debate over possible membership.