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Belarusian MFA: West 2017 drills purely defensive

The military exercise of Belarus and Russia West 2017 was planned long ago and does not threaten anyone, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.

Belarus sends invitations to foreign countries and international organizations to monitor the drills. Meanwhile, this measure is proactive and based on the principles of openness. The active phase of the exercises will be monitored by representatives of the UN, OSCE, NATO, and the CSTO.

Dmitry Mironchik, Belarus foreign ministry spokesperson:
The exercise West 2017 is exclusively defensive in nature and is aimed exclusively at strengthening the military security of the Belarus-Russia Union State.

As early as at the end of 2016 we formally notified all participating States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of the upcoming exercise, as envisaged in our commitment to the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures.

The joint strategic exercise Zapad 2017 (West 2017) will be held in the middle of September in Belarus and Russia. Up to 13,000 servicemen will take part in it.

Belarusian MFA: West 2017 drills purely defensive