16 Nov 2018 21:33

EU to drill tackling hybrid threats in parallel with NATO - source

BRUSSELS. Nov 16 (Interfax) - The European Union and NATO have joint commitments, including thwarting hybrid and cyber threats, a high-ranking EU official said.

The second parallel drill, which will be held with the EU's command role this time, will take place next week, a source on conditions of anonymity told reporters in Brussels on Friday.

He stressed the tangible mobilization of the European Union. Several thousand people from 14 Directorates-General of the European Commission (EC) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) will take part.

The hybrid scenario plans foreign intrusions, some activity will take place abroad, but it will affect the EU countries. This will be a "hybrid attack". The objective is to look at the coordination of response based on current mechanisms, the source said.

The drill will put into practice the scenario, which has been worked out in the context of the EU's joint policy of security and defense amid a threat coming from an imaginary country, which is experiencing volatility, he said in response to questions from reporters.

Simulated "hybrid attacks" will be aimed at the cyber and energy sectors, and the healthcare system of the EU countries.

This will be a response to a very complicated crisis, in which events seemingly unlinked, eventually become interconnected, the EU official said. The drill will make it possible to review the response mechanism in the event of this crisis, he said.

NATO will help the EU hold the drill, he added. Specialists of the alliance will be deployed at EU command centers.

Switzerland and Norway, which are not affiliated with the EU, are also invited to take part in this drill. Foreign observers are also expected to take part.