NATO will launch a major exercise on Friday in the Baltic Sea, involving nearly 50 naval vessels, as well as aircraft and helicopters from 18 countries, including Norway.
The Northern Coasts exercise has been held annually since 2007 and will run until September 19.
“The Baltic Sea is crucial for the alliance as it borders six NATO countries,” NATO spokesman Oana Lungescu said in a statement.
“The security situation in the region has unfortunately worsened after Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula and constant military armament,” she says.
Russia itself conducted a naval exercise in the Baltic Sea in August, involving more than 70 naval vessels, nearly 60 aircraft and 10,000 soldiers.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today