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NATO's biggest peacetime drill kicks off, angering Moscow

By The News · 25 of October 2018 07:40:03
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg talks to journalists during a news conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Stoltenberg briefed reporters on alleged Russian breaches of the INF international missile agreement, and on the alliance's military exercises in Norway, its biggest since the Cold War. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco), No available, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg talks to journalists during a news conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Stoltenberg briefed reporters on alleged Russian breaches of the INF international missile agreement, and on the alliance's military exercises in Norway, its biggest since the Cold War. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — NATO’s biggest military maneuvers since the Cold War have started in Norway in a hypothetical scenario that involves restoring the Scandinavian country’s sovereignty after an attack by a “fictitious aggressor.”

Russia, which shares a border with Norway, was briefed by NATO on the Trident Juncture 2018 drill and invited to monitor it, but Moscow is still angered by the exercise. Russia’s defense minister had warned that Moscow could be forced to respond to increased NATO activity near its western border.

The wargames launched Thursday bring together around 50,000 personnel from all 29 NATO allies, plus partners Finland and Sweden. Around 65 vessels, 150 aircraft and 10,000 vehicles will participate.

The drill, scheduled to end Nov. 7, takes place in central and eastern Norway, the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea.