Russia has asked NATO member states not to conduct military exercises during the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II in May, announced Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.
"We appealed to the European countries to abandon active exercises during this period," Grushko said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
According to Grushko, the coronavirus pandemic changed the situation with the exercises, "turning it all in another plane." He noted that the role of all instruments of international cooperation, including military cooperation as the decease spreads around the globe. "Today we see that life puts everything in its place," he said.
The final part of the Defender Europe exercises with the participation of 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries was to take place between 20 April and 20 May this year.
Earlier, the European Command of the United States (EUCOM) reported that due to the spread of coronavirus it stops the transfer of military to Europe for exercises. Some military exercises related to Defender Europe, including Dynamic Front, Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response, will not be held, EUCOM said.