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NATO to strengthen presence in Eastern Europe during West 2017 drills
08:00, 17 June 2017
NATO to strengthen presence in Eastern Europe during West 2017 drills

The joint Russian-Belarusian exercise is slated for autumn in Belarus; it will involve over 100,000 servicemen

08:00, 17 June 2017

Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

The NATO troops will increase their military presence in the Alliance’s member countries in Eastern Europe. Ben Hodges, the commanding general of U.S. Army in Europe, said that as quoted by Channel 5.    

He did not rule out the chance that Russia could invade the Baltic States, saying that the Alliance ‘will be ready to respond’.

According to Hodges, Russia can’t be trusted, because ‘there are a lot of examples of how Moscow failed to comply with international agreements and it constantly breaks its own promises’.

‘When Russia captured Crimea, they held military drills back then. During another exercise, they invaded Georgia. So I would not actually rule out such scenario due to these scheduled exercises. But the NATO is about being professionals; we all are working to stay on high alert during such drills,’ Hodges said.

The West 2017 exercise is slated in Belarus for September 2017. The drills will be involving over 100,000 troops; this is going to be the largest Russian military drill since 2013. In the same period of time, the U.S. Army will hold their own exercise in Sweden, Poland and Ukraine.

Related: NATO military drills Iron Wolf-2017 start in Lithuania

Related: Tallinn to host Hunt 2017 drills

Related: BALTOPS exercise underway in Latvia

Related: Ukrainian military to take part in exercises in Germany

Related: NATO Locked Shields 2017 exercise kick off in Estonia

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