MOSCOW: Russia’s defence minister said Friday it is sending out invitations to NATO states to take part in annual Moscow-led military drills called the “International Army Games.”
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has invited “troops from 90 countries including NATO members,” the ministry said on its website.
The games include events such as tank biathlon, where tank crews practise shooting, as well as an obstacle course.
This year’s games will focus on “security as a whole, medical care and logistics,” and should be visually entertaining, Shoigu said.
Around 6,000 troops were expected to take part in the event that runs from late August to early September, the ministry said.
Last year, several EU countries sent observers and Greece took part.
The games, which have been held since 2015, usually include former Communist regimes such as China, Vietnam and Angola, as well as Moscow allies like Iran.
NATO and Russia often spook each other with war games close to the border between Russia and eastern flank NATO allies.
For decades, Russia’s oil giants have been polluting parts of the country’s once thriving landscape, often in secret, spilling oil onto the land and into the Arctic Ocean, poisoning the water and destroying the livelihood of local communities and Indigenous Peoples.