18:04 Aug. 29, 2016
Alliance members haven't staged snap drills since the end of the Cold War
Russia is increasingly conducting unannounced military exercises, straining its relationship with NATO, the alliance's No. 2 official said Monday.
Russia had staged large drills with no advance notification "with increasing frequency," NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said. He said there had been about a dozen in the past two years.
Vershbow, on a visit to Bucharest, said Russia's drills are allowed by a loophole in a security agreement signed with Western countries.
He said NATO wants to "develop a more stringent regime to increase transparency and ...predictability and a way to better stabilise what is a very unsatisfactory relationship with Russia."
Alliance members haven't staged snap drills since the end of the Cold War, he said.
He said "if there is an interest in Moscow in stability and predictability, then these exercises are not the way to go."
He said the goal of NATO should be "to upgrade to greater stability and predictability," and to strengthen "the existing regime for transparency."