Tensions at NATO’s borders

May 19, 2017

English, Notizie

Before the end of September Russia and Belarus will launch the Zapad 2017 military exercises, that aim to test the joint capacity of the two countries on their western borders. The Russians insist that the maneuvers are merely defensive, in line with Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov’s past statemetns last year that Russia would “never” attack a NATO ally.

The Lithuanian government, however, sees a direct threat: Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis called the exercises called the maneuvers “a simulation of an offensive character against NATO and specifically against the Baltic countries and evidently Poland”. One of the aspects that worries Karoblis is that the number of participants declared by the Russians always seems to be less than the actual figure once the exercises take place; keeping the number low, below 13,000, is important to comply with the old limits on exercises that can be held without international verification. According to western analysts, the Russians regularly declare lower numbers, but then have 5 or 10 times that number actually participate.

Russia, on the other hand, continues to see Nato deployments and the construction of support infrastructure in Poland and the Baltic states as a provocation and threat.

– by Andrew Spannaus –

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply