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NATO Monitors Russian Ships Transiting Celtic Sea, English Channel and North Sea

NATO ships are a part of a larger Allied military presence in the Atlantic and North Sea continually supporting maritime situational awareness activities. As part of these operations, NATO and its Allies have monitored three Russian Navy ships transiting the region.

This common effort has been coordinated with multiple entities including Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Allied navies’ Maritime Operations Centres leading to a shared maritime picture across the Alliance.

“Routinely monitoring areas and activities of interest to the maritime security of Alliance Nations is an important part of NATO’s responsibilities,” Commander, Surface Forces NATO German Navy Rear Admiral Stefan Pauly said. “It creates overall maritime awareness and contributes to the safety of navigation for the international maritime community.”

SNMG1, currently under the command of Royal Netherlands Navy Commodore Jeanette Morang is NATO’s Very High Readiness Task Group made up of ships from the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

Similarly, Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and maintains a comprehensive picture of maritime operations in the region including, but not limited to, the presence of Russian Navy units. Through close and permanent coordination between Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) and Allied national headquarters, NATO maximizes operational effectiveness. Under the command of U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Sciretta, SNMG2 includes ships from the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Türkiye, and the U.K.

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups 1 and 2 also work in parallel with the SNMGs providing an integrated, multinational defensive force. The SNMCMG1 is led by Estonian Navy Commander Ott Laanemets and includes ships from Latvia, Canada, Germany, and the U.K. SNMCMG2 is led by Turkish Navy Captain Yusuf Karagulle and includes ships from Turkiye, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Even though a number of NATO, Allied, Partner, and Russian ships sail in the same areas, NATO has not observed any aggressive behaviour from the Russian ships. NATO and Allies remain vigilant and continuously adapt to changing tactical situations.

NATO’s Standing Naval Force comprise four maritime groups that operate under Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM). Headquartered in Northwood, MARCOM Commander is the primary maritime advisor to the Alliance. Like its land and air counterparts (LANDCOM and AIRCOM), MARCOM reports directly to NATO’s Allied Command Operations (ACO), which is located in Mons, Belgium.

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