Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that Russian Federation does not intend to occupy Belarus under the pretext of holding Zapad-2017 military drills. He said this in his interview for Belarusian media on occasion of 25th anniversary of establishing of diplomatic ties between the countries, reports the press service of the ministry.
"First of all, the lamentations about our exercises with the Republic of Belarus are continuing for several years already, at the moment we are preparing for the Zapad-2017 exercise. A couple of years ago there were drills Union Shield -2015. There was the same hullabaloo that Russian troops will enter supposedly for the training, and then remain there forever and occupy Belarus. It's hard to imagine greater nonsense," he said.
According to him, rumors that the Russian Federation is preparing to deploy troops into Belarus under the disguise of exercises were repeatedly refuted both by the Russian side and by the leadership of Belarus.
As it was reported earlier Lithuania once again expressed support for anti-Russian sanctions expansion. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė stressed that Russia de facto invaded the territory of Ukraine.