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Iran Press TV

Ukraine planning 10 war games with participation of foreign troops next year

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 5:53 PM

Ukraine says it is planning ten military exercises for next year with the participation of thousands or foreign troops, in yet another move that raises the risk of a military confrontation with Russia.

The Ukrainian parliament approved a draft law on Tuesday allowing the participation of foreign troops in military exercises in 2022.

According to the law, sent by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine plans to hold 10 large military exercises next year.

Before the vote, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoliy Petrenko told parliament that 11,500 troops from the United States, Britain, Poland, Romania, and other countries would participate in the exercises, along with 21,000 Ukrainian troops.

The war games would be carried out on land, at sea, and in the air, according to Petrenko.

"Conducting multinational exercises on the territory will help to strengthen national defense capabilities and support political and diplomatic efforts to maintain stability in the region," he said.

Earlier in the day, the United States' assistant secretary of state, Karen Donfried, told top Ukrainian officials during a meeting that Washington was resolved "to support Ukraine." She claimed the US and its allies were united in aiming to de-escalate tensions in the region. "The truth is that we are united with Ukraine, our NATO allies, and partners around the world in our efforts to pursue diplomacy and de-escalate a dangerous situation," she said.

Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO, has stepped up military cooperation with Western countries in recent weeks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Monday against the expansion of NATO military activity to Ukraine, saying the activities would constitutes a "direct threat" to the security of his country.

Putin emphasized the need for immediate talks with the West to come up with a clear, international legal agreement that would prevent NATO's further expansion east and the deployment of weapons that threaten Russia to its neighboring states, primarily Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The United States, its NATO allies, and Ukraine accuse Moscow of amassing troops near Ukraine's border for a possible invasion. Russia says there is no such plan. Moscow also says Washington is involved in aggressive moves in the Black Sea, where Ukraine and the US have held military drills recently.

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