ibusinesslines.com July 16, 2018

Jitters in Europe as Russia-Belarus War Games Set to Begin

17 September 2017, 10:17 | Erica Roy

Jitters in Europe as Russia-Belarus War Games Set to Begin

Jitters in Europe as Russia-Belarus War Games Set to Begin

General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia's general staff, told Curtis Scaparrotti, a U.S general who is NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, that Moscow's latest military exercise was purely defensive, the RIA news agency reported.

Concerns in the Western alliance were raised by the apparent difference between official Russian figures about the size of the exercise - 12,700 troops and 680 pieces of military equipment, including 138 tanks - and Western estimates, based on troop and equipment movements, that the number could range from 70,000 to as many as 100,000 participants.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is closely watching the exercises and says they are larger than the 12,700 servicemen Moscow has publicized, actually numbering some 100,000 troops, and involve firing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Russia-West relations nosedived to their lowest level since the Cold War in recent years after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support of separatists fighting the Ukrainian government in eastern Ukraine, clashes that have left over 10,000 people dead. Russian Federation and Belarus began major war games last Thursday, an operation involving thousands of troops, tanks and aircraft on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's eastern edge practicing how to hunt down and destroy armed spies, among other maneuvers.

"The degree of mobilization is really impressive", Mr. Soloch said on private Radio Zet.

At a time of renewed Cold War-style tension between Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the symbolism was striking, according to The Washington Post.

Earlier this week Jens Stoltenberg, NATO general secretary, said Russian Federation has every right to hold drills, but accused it of using "loopholes" to avoid scrutiny. The stipulation is part of the country's military doctrine, reminded the press secretary of the Belarusian Defense Ministry. The Baltic States and Poland fear that these monikers are just poorly disguised terms for their own countries. There is also concern that the exercise will be used as an excuse to permanently deploy Russian troops in Belarus.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, who often criticizes Russian leaders, said the war games are a sign the Kremlin is preparing for conflict with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "It is an open preparation for war with the West", Grybauskaite told reporters.

There is also unease in Kiev, and Ukraine is now conducting its own military exercises.

"On Monday the president will attend the Zapad 2017 strategic exercise".

Russian Federation has accused the West of "whipping up hysteria" over large-scale military exercises underway in eastern Europe, denying charges that they were being conducted with a lack of transparency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin may visit one of the stages of these drills, he said.

"Worries over Zapad are overkill".

Information for this article was contributed by David Filipov, Ishaan Tharoor and Michael Birnbaum of The Washington Post; and by Yuras Karmanau of The Associated Press.

Other News

Trending Now

Iran's Khamenei Warns Against 'Wrong Move' On Nuclear Deal
During his trip, Rouhani will deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly and will urge the United States to abide by its commitments to the nuclear deal reached in 2015.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants National Football League chief investigator Lisa Friel fired
He recently drew the ire of Jones with his decision to suspend Cowboys star RB Ezekiel Elliott despite the investigators recommendation of no discipline.

After Irma, the Island of Barbuda Remains Deserted
Those who rode out the storm were subsequently evacuated to Antigua where the storm's damage was less catastrophic. This story first aired as an interview on PRI's The Takeaway .

How Nick Jonas Learned of Selena Gomez's Kidney Transplant
On Thursday, Gomez uncovered that she had experienced a kidney transplant because of her Lupus prior this late spring. Her tweet follows one from Kesha from earlier Friday, where she sent out a message of support to both the musicians.

Tom Brady on Colin Kaepernick: 'I hope he gets a shot'
However, he didn't have to get political to cut to the genuine reality of the Kaepernick issue. "I hope he gets a shot". In June he wrote a guest column for the Hollywood reporter to push for projects that demand social justice.

AFP still verifying alleged rescue of Fr. Suganob
Early last month, government security forces also regained control of the Grand Mosque located at the center of the battle zone in Marawi.

GOM on GST Network to resolve 80% IT issues by 30 Oct
Adhia, however, ruled out extending the timeline for filing of GSTR-3B returns. Filing of returns on the last days of the month had caused technical glitches.