Monday, April 17 2017 21:43 EEST
Ukraine
Over 1,200 troops participating in NATO drills in Latvia's Summer Shield
Over, 1,200 troops, Participating, NATO, Latvia's, Summer,  Shield

Latvia's Defense Ministry has announced the launch of the 14th Summer Shield large international military exercises in the country on Monday, April 17, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

More than 1,200 soldiers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the United States, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are participating in the exercises, TASS reported with reference to the ministry. 

The venue of these annual drills is the military training ground in Adazi and the adjacent areas. 

The events will last until April 30. The goal of the exercises is to develop the skills of conducting military operations of battalions and brigades.

"The exercises this year include a wide range of combat support capabilities, namely artillery, air defense, reconnaissance forces, protection against weapons of mass destruction, anti-tank and engineering capabilities. Advanced observers of the combined fire support and air support controllers, as well as medical company and transport units will also be improving their skills," the ministry said.

The Summer Shield exercises have been held in Latvia since 2004 and initially their main task was to prepare units for participation in Iraq operations. 

Since 2014, these drills have been included in the NATO training plan and are open to participation by any country of the alliance. 

Last year more than 1,300 servicemen from Latvia, Lithuania, the United States, Canada, Finland, and Germany took part in these exercises.

Earlier EBU does not exclude that Russia may be excluded from participation in Eurovision-2018