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September 28, 2022

WikiLeaks: Romania, unhappy with NATO response to 2009 Russian drills

Several central and eastern European states, including Romania, but also Canada criticised NATO’s “failure” to give an appropriate response to Russia’s most extensive military drills after the fall of the Soviet Union, an American diplomatic note released by WikiLeaks reveals. The note, published by Norwegian daily ‘Aftenposten’ and taken over by Mediafax, reveals that Romania, along with Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania signed a joint document asking for the organisation of regular talks about Russia’s relationship with NATO. Romania also voiced the opinion that Russia’s actions were very similar to its Cold War behaviour and were part of a worrisome evolution in the country’s attitude, the note reads. The document details NATO’s International Military Staff presentation of a November 18, 2009 report on Russia’s wide military drills at Zapad and Ladoga earlier that year. The drills were meant to counterattack a possible assault on Russia and Belarus originating from Lithuania and Poland and included ballistic missile fire simulation. According to NATO’s military staff, the drills actually had the purpose of addressing the flaws identified in Russia’s armed forces during the August 2008 conflict with Georgia.

The drills revealed that Russia has a limited capacity to lead joint operations with air forces, it continues to rely on obsolete equipment, it lacks strategic transport means and needs more troops, the IMS said in the report.

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