US Army's commander in Europe Ben Hodges believes there aren’t many reasons to trust the information about the West-2017 military drills provided by Moscow, as he said at a joint press conference with Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis in Vilnius, as The Baltic Times reports.
"I think this would all be solved and everybody would be relaxed if the Russian Federation invited the media to everything that they do the way that Lithuanian armed forces do, the German armed forces do, that American armed forces do," the US general said.
Hodges emphasized that he feels confident in the deterrence capability of NATO, but the Alliance must remain vigilant. "But I don't have a good record for predicting the future", he added.
Russia and Belarus claim that West-2017 will be "purely defensive". However, Lithuanian Defense Minister Karoblis believes that "defense may be followed by a counteroffensive and a simulation of an offensive".
The US has sent extra fighter jets and a company of troops to Lithuania for the period of drills.
Some 1,000 troops from different NATO countries were also deployed to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland each earlier this year.