NATO has launched the largest war games to take place in Latvia since the country became independent in 1918.
The military games, which have been in preparation for four years, are scheduled to include military and police addressing “spontaneous” unrest in Russian-populated towns, reports RT.
“After four years of intensive preparations, this will be the largest military training exercise since the restoration of Latvia’s independence in which we will test the armed forces’ readiness to defend Latvia from any threats,” said Latvian Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Leonids Kalnins.
One such drill will include troops being deployed to counter unrest among the general public in the towns of Valmiera and Jekabpils, both of which are made up of a Russian ethnic majority.
Citizens have been made aware that no live ammunition will be used but received warning that the training would be very realistic.
The war games come just weeks after the Russian Priminister Medvedev voiced opposition of Georgia joining NATO.
“This (Georgia’s entry to NATO) could provoke a terrible conflict. I don’t understand what they are doing this for,” Medvedev told a local paper.
NATO discussed its commitment to admit Georgia to the military alliance during a July summit in Brussels.
The drills are also shortly proceeding a warning from Russian President Putin who warned NATO against cultivating closer ties with Ukraine and Georgia, saying such a policy was irresponsible and would have unspecified consequences for the alliance.