Russia has notified the US that it has started its nuclear exercises, two US officials said on Tuesday, according to CBS News.
“Russia is complying with its arms control obligations and its transparency commitments to make those notifications,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.
Russia is holding its annual Grom exercises that will be held for several weeks, and the US says they will include the launching of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. The drills coincide with NATO’s nuclear exercises, known as Steadfast Noon, that are being hosted by Belgium and held over the UK and the North Sea.
Both exercises have been described as “routine” but come amid soaring tensions between the US and Russia over the potential use of nuclear weapons. President Biden recently warned that the risk of nuclear war is higher now than at any time since the height of the Cold War.
NATO’s Steadfast Noon exercises do not involve live-fire drills, but 14 alliance members are participating. The US, Britain, and France are NATO’s only nuclear-armed powers, but five other alliance members host US nuclear warheads under NATO’s nuclear sharing program; Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.