The U.S. Defense Department has announced major NATO naval exercises in the Mediterranean. The announcement comes a day after Russia announced it would launch major maneuvers simultaneously in several seas, including the Mediterranean. Among other things, the USS carrier USS Harry Truman will take part in the maneuvers.
A U.S. Defense Department spokesman said the exercise, ‘Neptune Strike 2022’, had nothing to do with the current tensions with Russia over Ukraine. According to him, this exercise has been on NATO’s agenda since 2020. This will last until February 4th.
The exercise ‘Neptune Strike 2022’ has not yet been included in NATO’s public action schedule updated in mid-December.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the exercise was not aimed at tackling the situation around Ukraine. “This is really a NATO naval exercise (…) aimed at testing a wide range of naval capabilities.”
Kirby acknowledged that the tense situation with Russia had led to discussions between NATO allies, but that it was finally decided to continue the exercises.
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