Beginning today, September 14, the Russian-Belarusian exercises “West-2017″ are completely peaceful and defensive in nature, and their name should not be taken as the target maneuvers, said in an interview with German broadcaster DW , Deputy defense Minister of Russia Alexander Fomin.

According to him, Russia “in no case did” not intend to carry out a military invasion on the territory of neighboring States. “(The name of the exercise), “West” should not be understood in the broad political sense as a geographical term, which includes countries of the West, EU or NATO members. “West” means West of Russia and Belarus, which is to the West”, – he explained to the journalist.

On the question of whether the inhabitants of the countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltic sea “to sleep” in connection with the exercise, Fomin replied, “of Course. And I say this seriously.”

The main purpose of the exercise, in the words of Fomin – “development of appropriate methods and the application of armed force to combat terrorism.” So, the Deputy Minister responded to a reporter’s question regarding the concern of Ukraine about the fact that the exercises can become offensive.

A similar statement was made commander of the Western military district Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov. “In accordance with the plan of the exercise, the regional grouping of troops (forces) have to confront extremist groups penetrated into the territory of the Union state for terrorist acts. It is assumed that the extremists regularly receive logistical support, weapons and military equipment from the air and sea. In the rapidly changing environment will be worked out command and control and forces the organization of cooperation and comprehensive support, covering important state and military facilities located on the territory of the Kaliningrad region and in Belarus. In short, the exercise scenario has nothing to do with the speculation that replicated abroad,” he said in an interview with “Krasnaya Zvezda”.

Meanwhile, a year ago, announcing the exercises “West-2017,” the Russian defense Minister Sergei Shoigu saidthat the development of their idea and scenario was taken into account “the situation associated with increased activity of NATO near the borders of the Union state (Russia and Belarus)”. The desire of the Alliance “to impose its will on other countries” undermines strategic stability and “forcing Russia to take retaliatory measures,” the Minister explained.

We will remind, the Russian-Belarusian exercises “West-2017″ will be held September 14-20 in Belarus, and three Russian sites. According to official data, they will participate to 12.7 thousand soldiers. A number of NATO countries and the Ukrainian authorities had previously expressed concern over the upcoming maneuvers.

NATO noted that during previous large-scale maneuvers in 2013, Russia has fulfilled the actions of special forces and tested, which later was used during the annexation of Crimea. NATO allies have expressed concern that the new maneuvers can escalate into aggression against the Baltic States. In Russia and Belarus, such accusations were repeatedly denied.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called assumptions about allegedly posed by Russia of the danger of war fiction. According to him, Russia is not going to attack anyone. “In Europe alone, there are 300 million, all NATO members, to a population of 600 million people, probably, in Russia – 146 million. Well it is simply ridiculous to talk about it,” said the President in October of 2016, speaking at the plenary session of the international discussion club “Valdai” in Sochi.

The defense Ministry explained the meaning of the name of military exercises “West-2017″, scared the neighbors of the Russian Federation 14.09.2017

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