40 warships arrive in Stockholm for NATO’s Baltic Sea exercise

NATO member states sent around 40 warships to Sweden’s capital Stockholm on Saturday for the bloc’s BALTOPS 22 military exercises, which are expected to start in the Baltic Sea on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said that his country and Finland will also join the drills.

Saying that what is happening in the region can be defined as a “new cold war” or a “new iron curtain,” he noted that this is a conflict between authoritarian states and democratic Europe.

The NATO countries are sending a signal about the security of the region through the ships gathered in Stockholm today, Hultqvist added.

“Fourteen NATO allies, two NATO partner nations, over 45 ships, more than 75 aircraft, and approximately 7,000 personnel will participate in the 51st iteration of the premier maritime-focused exercise from June 5-17,” NATO said in an earlier statement.

Among the participants will be Turkey, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.

Meanwhile, as NATO partner nations, Finland and Sweden will also participate in the drill. Both the countries recently applied to join the military alliance.

This year, Sweden will host the BALTOPS 22 exercise, which was initiated for the first time in 1972.

BALTOPS is an annual exercise that visibly demonstrates NATO’s commitment to preserving regional peace and security by exercising a team of international forces that can rapidly respond in a time of crisis, according to the alliance.

Source: Daily Sabah


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