In addition to the maneuvers in Georgia, NATO launched another event near Russia’s borders. This time the drills take place in the north, in Scandinavian countries and in the Baltic States. Over 2,000 servicemen from ten countries of the alliance (Britain, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, the USA, France and Estonia) participate in ten-day Baltops-2009 drills which are held within the scope of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program.
Finland and Sweden, which do not hold NATO’s membership, provided their territories, army bases and troops for the drills. First priority is given to aviation, including carrier aviation: Britain’s Illustrious aircraft carrier arrived in the Baltic Sea to participate in the event. Fifty multi-mission fighters, bomber aircraft and cargo planes will be involved in the largest military drills that have ever been held on the territories of Finland and Sweden, the two neutral states.
What do Finland and Sweden want from the drills? A spokesperson for Sweden’s Defense Ministry said that the nation intended to prepare its troops for air operations. The official also said that the Baltic Sea provided a unique opportunity for the drills taking into consideration the intense freight traffic activity.
The new drills do not violate any regulations. Non-NATO members are entitled to participate in the drills, which the alliance holds.
Konstantin Sivkov, a military expert with the Academy for Geopolitical Sciences, told Pravda.Ru that the West was most likely working on the establishment of the new world order.
“The fact that two neutral states - Finland and Sweden - participate in NATO’s drills shows that there is a wider bloc being formed in the West,” he said.
“The West intends to redistribute primary resources against the background of the ongoing economic crisis. It is possible to obtain cheap raw materials militarily. The fact that right and ultra-right factions win the recent elections to the European Parliament is quite indicative. The same was taking place during the 1930s, which also coincided with the global economic crisis. A war proved to be a way out of the crisis back in those years. It looks like history repeats itself today.
“As far as Russia is concerned, the country finds itself between wind and water. NATO is holding its drills near Russia’s southern and northern borders, which is not incidental. The alliance approaches Georgia as a springboard to capture the energy resources of the Caspian Sea region. The north is attractive for the opportunity to attack Russia’s key centers,” the expert said.
Indeed, the drills are not being held within the scope of either the struggle against international terrorism or the intention to practice rescuing operations under the conditions of natural disasters. The Loyal Arrow exercise was formally announced as the event to train the cooperation of aviation units in the regulation of international armed conflicts. As a matter of fact, NATO is working on radio interception, countermeasures activity, air and sea battles. To put it in a nutshell, NATO organized the exercise to train the destruction of enemy’s operational aircraft and navy, which al-Qaida does not have, of course.
Russia was a regular member of such drills since 1993. Moscow decided to cease its participation in NATO’s maneuvers after Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008. Nearly a year has passed, but the relations between Russia and the alliance have not improved.
It may seem at first sight that the current drills in the Baltic Sea do not deserve a lot of attention. Western journalists say that it was Russia’s decision to pull out from the drills in which the nation participated previously. Nevertheless, the maneuvers near Russia’s borders in the north and in the south are obviously a provocative act.