Belarus’ Defense Ministry says West 2017 drills defensive in nature


Belarus’ Defense Ministry says West 2017 drills defensive in nature

The military drills Zapad 2017 are aimed at perfecting joint antiterrorist actions. This was stated by two defense establishments - Belarus is carrying out the military drills together with Russia.

The total number of soldiers involved is nearly 13 thousand people. Specialists were choosing those ranges, which are located at a certain distance from the state border, in order to once again emphasize the character of the Zapad 2017 military drills.

Oleg Belokonev, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces - First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Belarus:
The upcoming strategic military drills Zapad 2017 have a strictly defensive character. The drills do not pose any threat whatsoever both for the European community as a whole and the neighboring states. The drills will allow perfecting the mechanism of joint defensive infrastructure usage in practice within the interests of state security of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.

Part of the ranges is on the territory of Russia. As a whole the drills will be carried out in two stages during one week exactly – from September 14 till September 22. In the time being the troops will perfect joint military actions and the defense of important facilities.

Foreign mass media and 80 international observers, from NATO and the OSCE as well, have been accredited to the Zapad 2017 military drills. The Special website of the drills will start working from September 12.