The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus held the briefing for the heads of the diplomatic mission of the foreign countries and international organization towards the preparation and holding of the joint Russian-Belarusian West-2017 military drills as BELTA reported.
'Despite the fact that the holding of the briefings is the authority of the defensive departments, the Belarusian MFA decided to act publicly and tell about the drill to all interested foreign diplomats accredited in Belarus', the message said.
The representatives of 40 countries arrived to take part in the event.
'Taking into account the deliberate attention to the West-2017 military drills and to defuse the solicitude we decided to hold such briefing for the heads of the diplomatic missions and representatives of the international organizations. I will emphasize one more time that the drills carry only the defensive nature', the Deputy of the Foreign Minister Valentn Rybakov explained. Rybakov said to the journalists about topic and aims of the drills, quantity of the militaries and equipment that will be involved in the event. He expressed the readiness to answer all questions along with the representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry.
The Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus Igor Kyzym commented upon the results of the briefing.
'Such briefeings are useful. From the one side they show the outspokenness of Belarus and from the other they give a possibility to the ambassadors to ask the questions that disturb and interest them'. However, the Ukrainian diplomat did not ask the questions during the briefing.
Russia and Belarus hold the joint strategic drills of the Armed Forces once in two years. This year they will start on September 14 and will last until September 20.
Mostly they will take place in the Belarusian territory where 10 200 militaries will take part, 7 200 from Belarus and about 3000 from the Armed Forces of Russia. Totally 12 700 militaries and 680 entities of the military equipment will take part in the drills.
‘The main aim of the drills to check the readiness of Belarus and Russia to provide the military security of the Common State, its readiness to response at the possible aggression and to increase the team work of the command and control organizations, field and air training of the units and detachments of the Armed Forces of both countries’, the Defense Ministry of Belarus noted.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed that the Russian-Belarusian West-2017 drills threaten Ukraine. He noted that Ukraine will control and monitor for withdrawal of all equipment after the drills.
The Head of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko noted that Ukraine prepares for different scenarios due to the West-2017 drills. According to him, these drills have a broader context than the announced maneuvers in the territory of Belarus. The aim of them is to train the Russian troops for the offensive actions and carry a threat both for NATO countries and former Soviet-era countries.