NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a joint Russian-Belarusian exercises “West-2017” in maneuvers involving more troops than was stated by Moscow. It is reported by Yahoo! news.
“There is a discrepancy between what Russia briefed before the exercises … and the actual number of [military] and the scale of these exercises,” Stoltenberg said after the meeting of the Council Russia-NATO.
Commander of the US army in Europe General Ben Hodges said in early October that Russia shared large-scale maneuvers into several smaller episodes to violate international agreements. Hodges said that, in his opinion, the exercise was attended by over 40 thousand troops.
Moscow insists that this figure is only 12.7 per thousand people — is below the threshold in 13 thousand troops, after which in accordance with international protocols on exercises may carry out inspections of foreign observers.
Some NATO members such as Germany and Lithuania, said that the number involved in the “West-2017” soldiers and officers reached 100 thousand.
Russia’s Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko said that the representatives of the Alliance did not pridavili no evidence of his words. “All efforts were directed to the demonization [of Russia ] Western countries,” he said.
Earlier, on 25 October, the Ministry of defense of Belarus refuted the statement of the Ukrainian military on Russian troops, allegedly remaining after completion of joint exercises “West-2017” on the territory of the Republic. In Minsk also said that at the end of the exercise was conducted control measures by specialists of Lithuania, Ukraine and Slovakia. As noted in the Ministry of defence, the inspectors did not reveal the presence of any undeclared activities of military forces.
Joint military exercises of Russia and Belarus “West-2017” was held from 14 to 20 September. They were involved in up to 12.7 thousand servicemen, up to 70 aircraft and helicopters, and 680 pieces of equipment. Similar joint exercises held in 2009 and 2013.