Russia conducts large-scale drills in Baltic Sea amid Ukraine tensions

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A total of 20 Russian warships and supporting vessels have entered the designated areas of the Baltic Sea to conduct exercises, Russia’s Western Military District has said in a statement.

The ships from the Russian Baltic Fleet, forming several tactical groups, will carry out anti-submarine, air defense and mine-sweeping tasks, added the statement on Monday.

The drills are being held at a time when the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is putting forces on standby and sending additional ships and fighter jets to Eastern Europe as tensions in and around Ukraine have escalated, Xinhua news agency reported.

Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it is impossible for the Russian military to ignore an increase in NATO military activities in Eastern Europe.

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