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Kremlin Slams Biggest NATO Exercise Since Cold War

Polish Army and U.S. Army soldiers attend the opening ceremony of the Anaconda-16 military exercise, in Warsaw, Poland, June 6, 2016.

A large-scale NATO military exercise, named Anakonda-16, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Poland, will not help to establish mutual trust between Russia and the West, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the RBC news agency on Tuesday.

Dialogue between Russia and NATO held “at the level of ambassadors” is unlikely to help reach understanding amid the deficit of mutual trust, Peskov said, RBC reported.

Eighteen NATO member states will participate in the biggest exercise since 1989. A total of 31,000 soldiers, 3,000 units of military machinery, more than 100 planes and helicopters and 12 warships will be involved in the drills, the Polish Russian-language radio station Radio Polsha reported Monday.

The exercise will rehearse a joint defense operation against “hybrid threat,” according to Radio Polsha. The scenario implies a conflict between two alliances that leads to the annexation of an imaginary state and intrusion into Poland and the Baltic states.

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