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Mar 7, 2024

The Steadfast Defender began in January and is the largest war game in Europe in decades.

On Thursday, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said that the ongoing NATO Steadfast Defender military exercises escalate tensions and undermine global stability.

The large-scale war game going on in Europe is a way for NATO to rehearse "a scenario of armed confrontation with Russia," he said.

"The destructive role of the United States in recent history is evident. No other country has staged so many wars and military conflicts, or provoked so many economic crises," he added.

According to Patrushev, NATO has become "an important instrument of Washington's influence" as the alliance continues to expand toward Russia's western borders.

He also noted that the bloc has plans to further increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific and Arctic regions.

Patrushev said NATO member states have continued to raise defense expenditures in 2024, which reflects its "growing aggressive nature."

The Steadfast Defender 2024 military drills began in January and are scheduled to run through May. With some 90,000 troops participating, it is the largest war game in Europe in decades.

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