Strategic exercises “West-2017” designed to provoke a NATO, which under these conditions must remain vigilant, says British defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
“This doctrine, but they clearly are meant to test us. And, given Russia’s behavior in recent times, we must remain vigilant,” writes a British politician in the column “Opinions” on the pages of the Daily Telegraph, noting that over the last ten years, Russia has “invaded” Georgia and Ukraine. Translation of the material presented at Inotv.
“We see Russia’s actions in Syria, prolonging this terrible civil war. We saw the Russian planes flying planes and NATO ships, in defiance of international protocols,” he says, noting that Moscow has also influenced elections in the United States, in Montenegro and in other countries, using social media, fabricated news and misinformation, trying to undermine the foundations of democratic States.
“Undoubtedly, Russia will now argue that NATO escalate the situation. However, large-scale exercises of this kind are clearly to provoke us,” — said Fallon. He is sure that Russia is concealing information about the actual number participating in the military exercises, which is contrary to mandatory rules of the OSCE.
“It’s a constant breach of international obligations is typical in the behavior of Russia. It is a stark contrast to the open and transparent approach to NATO, which invites international observers, as is the case with the teachings of “a Single Trident 2015”, — said the Minister. In his opinion, NATO is a defensive Alliance that threatens no one. “But from the time of the summits in Wales and Warsaw, we have strengthened our defenses to repel the challenge to our security,” he said.
However, Fallon believes that the situation may change. “The choice for Russia. It can change course, to end the reckless military activity, and to obey the rules of the OSCE, to provide the embodiment of the Minsk agreement and abandon the relentless campaign of disinformation”, — said the Minister, stressing that in case of agreement with these requirements, it will be possible to improve relations. “We keep the lines of communication open, but should judge Russia by her actions, not words,” warns Michael Fallon.
Strategic exercises “West-2017” will be held September 14-20 at six firing ranges of Russia and Belarus, will involve about 12.7 thousand military personnel (including about 10.2 thousand on the territory of Belarus) and will involve about 680 pieces of equipment.