ST. PETERSBURG, February 27 (RIA Novosti)
The Russian Northern Fleet and the Norwegian Navy will conduct the Pomor-2012 joint drills in the Arctic in May, a spokesman for Russia’s Western Military District said on Monday.
The preparation for the drills will be discussed during a three-day visit of the commander of the Western Military District, Col. Gen. Arkady Bakhin, to Norway, which starts on February 27.
Russia and Norway have carried out the annual Pomor naval drills since 2010 to practice interoperability in the environmentally fragile Arctic area.
The exercises include firing of live artillery rounds at simulated surface and aerial targets, anti-submarine warfare drills, anti-piracy operations, and search-and-rescue missions.
Last year, the drills in the Barents and Norwegian seas involved Russian Udaloy class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov from the Northern Fleet, Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class frigate Helge Ingstad, coastal guard vessels and naval aircraft.
The Russian-Norwegian agreement on delimiting the sea border and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean came into force on July 7, 2011 after 40 years of negotiations.
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.