Germany Reduces the Number of its Military Participating in NATO Exercises

Germany Reduces the Number of its Military Participating in NATO Exercises

Germany Reduces the Number of its Military Participating in NATO Exercises

Russian Federation accused the West on Thursday of "whipping up hysteria" over its large-scale military exercises now underway in eastern Europe and denied charges that they were being conducted with a lack of transparency.

Between September 14 and 20, Russian Federation will execute one of its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War.

Russian Federation and Belarus plan to practice amassing troops in a scenario that pits them against terrorists infiltrating their borders from three different countries.

Moscow says that the drills will involve 12,700 soldiers, 70 aircraft, 250 tanks and ten battleships fighting an imaginary enemy near borders with the Baltic States and Poland.

Russia's defence ministry insisted the manoeuvres were "of a strictly defensive nature and are not directed against any other state or group of countries". Hence, considering Russia's exercised transport capability, the decision to leave additional large forces in place in Belarus after Zapad-17-should it come to pass-would carry a key political message both to Lukashenko and to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

For some, that sounds uncomfortably like rehearsing a pretext for NATO's nightmare scenario, a Russian tank rush into the Baltic States.

"We have seen before that Russian Federation has used big military exercises as a disguise or a precursor for aggressive military actions against their neighbours", Stoltenberg said.

"Russia is still very, very unpredictable, and it has proved this unpredictability with its activities in occupying Crimea, Ukraine, and Georgia", she said. Deputy Foreign Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke about the theme and objectives of the maneuvers, as well as the number of military and technical equipment that will be deployed.

"While some missions are in progress in Russian Federation, the troops will not have to redeploy to Belarus". And this all comes against the background of Russia's annexation of Crimea three years ago, and its continuing military presence in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman defended Russia's right to hold exercises and rejected accusations the authorities had not been transparent.

That many troops would make these war games among the biggest since the Soviet period, and the discrepancy in reports on the size has set off concerns among some about the drills' real goal and, in more alarmist quarters, even fears of invasion.

Russian Federation has begun some of its largest war games along its western borders since the end of the Cold War, stoking fears among its neighbors.

Minsk has said the games will role play a conflict with a made-up rebel region backed by neighbouring European nations.

"Russia is the country that affects security in Europe right now with its actions - the annexation of the Crimea and continued battles in eastern Ukraine - so it is clear that we are watching very closely what Russian Federation is doing", Byden said.

But for Danish defence minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen, speaking on Danish radio on Thursday, the drill was created to "intimidate the Baltic states".

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