NATO will go ahead with planned nuclear exercises for the upcoming week despite tensions rising over the conflict in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that he’s not lying about using all means to protect Russian territorial integrity, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated on Tuesday.

The event, known as “Steadfast Noon” is held every year and typically lasts for around one week. It is a battle of fighter jets equipped with nuclear warheads however it doesn’t involve live bombs. Standard jets, as well as the aircraft that monitor and refuel frequently participate.

Thirteen out of 30 NATO members are expected to participate in the exercise that was planned prior to Russia entered Ukraine during February. The major part of the exercises will be conducted more than 1,000 km (625 miles) away from Russia the official said. NATO official told.

“It will send a incorrect signal if we abruptly have to cancel the routine, long-time-planned exercise because of the conflict in Ukraine. This is the absolute incorrect message to convey,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a conference with NATO defence ministers at Brussels.

“NATO’s consistent, predictable behaviour, and our military power is the most effective way to avoid escalation,” said the official. “If we create foundation for any miscommunications and miscalculations within Moscow about our determination to defend and protect all our allies, we could increase the likelihood of increasing tensions.”

As the Russian army retreating from the assaults of Ukrainian forces equipped by Western arms, Putin raised the stakes by the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, and announcing an interim mobilization of 300,000 reservists, to help strengthen the deteriorating frontline.

Since his plans for war have gone off the rails, Putin has repeatedly signaled that he may use nuclear weapons to safeguard those Russian gains. This threat also aims to deter NATO nations from supplying advanced weaponry to Ukraine.

NATO as an organisation does have no weapons. The nuclear weapons which are linked with NATO are under strict control of three members that are three of them: the U.S., U.K. and France. The secretive NATO Nuclear Planning Group will meet on Thursday, with defense ministers.

Stoltenberg said that Putin’s spiraling words about nuclear weapons in terms of “dangerous and reckless” and said that allies “have sent a clear message to Russia that they will face grave consequences if they employ the nuclear weapon in any manner.”

“We monitor closely Russia’s nuclear capabilities,” Stoltenberg said. “We haven’t seen any shifts in Russia’s nuclear posture however we are alert.”