Russia rejects allegations it will use
war games to launch an invasion
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[August 29, 2017]
(Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday joint war games with Belarus would be
purely defensive in nature and rejected what it said were false
allegations it might use the drills as a springboard to launch invasions
of Poland, Lithuania or Ukraine.
Servicemen take part in the joint war games Zapad-2013 (West-2013),
attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus
Alexander Lukashenko, at the Khmelevka range on Russia's Baltic Sea in
the Kaliningrad Region, September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA
total of almost 13,000 Russian and Belarussian servicemen and
almost 700 pieces of military hardware will be used in the Zapad
2017 exercises next month, Russian news agencies cited Russian
Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin as saying.
Those numbers were in line with international rules, he was
cited as saying.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance
will closely watch the exercises and has called for them to be
held in an open and legal manner.
Belarussian Deputy Defence Minister Oleg Belokonev said on
Tuesday that all troops and equipment brought into Belarus for
the war games would be withdrawn afterwards, the Interfax news
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov;
Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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