The Defense Ministry of Belarus invited representatives of Ukraine and six other states to send observers to joint Russian-Belarusian exercises West-2017 in September. This is stated in the message on the website of the department.
According to the statement, Belarusian servicemen are waiting for the observers from Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Norway.
The invitation was sent in accordance with the so-called Vienna Document of 2011, which requires notifying the other side about exercises involving more than 9,000 people and ensuring mandatory inspection of the other side in exercises involving more than 13,000 people.
Russia and Belarus declare that 12,700 servicemen will take part in the upcoming exercises.
At the same time, some NATO countries have suggested that there will be about 100,000 people in the drills. In addition, Ukraine’s Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov is sure that with the help of West-2017 exercises, the Kremlin is checking whether Russia is ready for a big war with the West.