Premonitory exercise. From March 14 until April 1, the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will engage in a military exercise in northern Norway. Called “Cold Response” and bringing together more than 35,000 soldiers from 28 countries, this exercise aims to “strengthen the capacities of the Allied armies to operate together in demanding climatic conditions”. Based at the citadel of Lille, the General Staff of the Rapid Reaction Corps (CRR-Fr) will be on the front line since France, since January 13, has taken its turn on the alert among the nine existing General Staffs in all NATO countries.
For a month and a half, the CRR-Fr has been in command of the NRF, the land component of NATO’s reaction force and was planned for a long time. “The date of this exercise has been planned for three years and nothing, or almost nothing, has been modified because of the conflict in Ukraine”, assures 20 Minutes a source at CRR-Fr.
A scenario that sticks to the news
“There is a whole strategy to defend and show that we defend the territory of the Alliance if necessary and Ukraine is not part of the Alliance”, insists this source. However, NATO has already taken some precautions since the start of the war in Ukraine: “In the context of article 4 of the treaty, troops and equipment have been sent to Romania and Latvia with the aim of reinforcing the defense of the eastern flank”, continues our source, insisting on the fact that NATO is committed to respecting the regulations. In other words, the Alliance will not intervene in Ukraine.
For the Norwegian exercise, in which 35,000 soldiers and numerous material resources, in particular air and maritime, will participate, the idea is to show that NATO can deploy massively and quickly in a given theater of operations. Nothing secret there, on the contrary. “Unlike Russia, NATO explains its exercises, announces them to be as predictable as possible and avoid any ambiguity,” insists our source at CRR-Fr. It turns out, however, that the scenario of “Cold Response” corresponds to the news. “While this exercise was not set up according to current events, it will nevertheless make it possible to show Russia that NATO has large reserves of forces and that we must not go too far”, explains to us -your.