NATO to observe Belarus-Russia West 2017 drills


NATO to observe Belarus-Russia West 2017 drills

Representatives of NATO will monitor the Belarusian-Russian exercise "West-2017".

They, together with about 80 other observers, including the UN and the OSCE, will visit the training grounds where maneuvers will be held from September 14 to September 20.

The Belarusian and Russian military will first of all work out the fight against terrorists and the protection of important facilities. Meanwhile, the hype surrounding the upcoming drills in Western media is gradually subsiding, including thanks to the statement of the NATO Secretary General.

In life there are two tragedies. One of them is not to achieve the most intimate, the other is to achieve the same. NATO got exactly into this ancient Greek trap. The Warsaw Treaty has broken up and time has come for silence and faith that there is only one - the morally right - recipe for international security: under the flag of the wind rose. But over time, the geopolitical picture changed, and military exercises for any state, not even the Alliance member, became a necessity. Especially if the maneuvers are aimed at increasing the defensive capability, no more. "West-2017" is an example of this.

Merike Kokajev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Estonia to the Republic of Belarus:
I believe that these are regular exercises and there will be no danger. I am sure that Russian troops have arrived in Belarus and will leave it accordingly. I think that this is unnecessary speculation.

A full-scale invasion of the Baltic states and Poland... There are enough speculations around the Belarus-Russia drills.

Especially vigilant publications cite the numbers of almost 100,000 troops. Apparently they forget that to hide (let alone feed and accommodate) such a large number of soldiers is not a real task. In addition, West-2017 will be observed by international experts, including from the same NATO. There will also be the UN, OSCE and representatives of the military-diplomatic corps from fifty countries. Does anyone need even more transparency?

Dmitry Mironchik, foreign ministry spokesperson:
At present, we are processing an unprecedented number of requests from foreign media - about 270. Applications have been received from news agencies, publications and TV channels from all neighboring countries of Belarus, as well as Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, and Norway.

Dr. Wolfgang Sender, Program Director for Belarus of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Germany):
I think that the significance of "West-2017" is too exaggerated in the EU. And this is due to a lack of information. We can see that Belarus is open and ready for cooperation: you invited observers, you provided transparency. In my opinion, Belarus as a whole provides security in the region. You are a very peaceful country.

We hope that this will continue, and Belarus will be increasingly involved in ensuring stability in the region.

The number of NATO drills is also quite significant. One of them started on Septmber 7 in Ukraine.

Alexander Shpakovsky, director of the analytical center:
NATO this year alone plans 28 military exercises, which will involve about 60 thousand people. This is somehow not talked about, including in our information space. But for us it is understandable. We do not see any immediate military threat from the North Atlantic alliance, we are striving to build peaceful partnership relations.

The Secretary General of the Alliance has recently cooled the fervor of news fans.

There will be no Cold War 2 and the threat turned out to be illusory.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General:
We will closely follow the course of the West-2017 exercise and we are vigilant. We will monitor the [West 2017] activity closely and we are vigilant but also calm, because we don't see any imminent threat against any NATO ally.

The drills West 2017 will be held from 14 to 20 September. By the end of the month all the troops, including Russian ones, will return to their bases.