Highlands & Islands

Russians in Scotland to observe Joint Warrior

British Army Colonel Charlie Wallace speaking to Russian officers Image copyright MOD
Image caption British Army Colonel Charlie Wallace speaking to Russian officers

A delegation of Russian military personnel is in Scotland to observe one of Europe's largest Nato exercises.

The visit is in line with the UK's obligations to the Vienna Document which aims to promote mutual trust and transparency among states signed to it.

While not unusual, the visit for Joint Warrior comes amid suggestions of a new Cold War.

The three officers from Russia and one from Belarus were in Stirling before heading out on Joint Warrior.

The exercise sees training, which includes live firing at ranges in the Highlands, held around Scotland. It involves more than 11,600 military personnel from 17 nations, including the US.

'Political tension'

Warships gathered in the Clyde ahead of Joint Warrior starting on Saturday.

Aircraft have been operating out of RAF Lossiemouth in Moray.

In Stirling, the delegation visited 51st Infantry Brigade, Headquarters Scotland.

Image copyright MOD
Image caption British Army officers briefing their Russian and Belarus counterparts on Joint Warrior

In a statement, Wing Commander Danny Endruweit, commanding officer of the UK's Joint Arms Control Implementation Group, said inspections by the Russian Arms Control Verification Agency were "commonplace".

He said: "We last welcomed Russia to the UK in April last year, and we conducted an inspection in Russia in January."

The officer added: "Even at times of heightened political tension we stick to our values, and honour our agreements.

"The UK is a champion of the rules-based system upon which all our security depends."

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