NATO chief demands Russian 'transparency' on war games

The drill, named Zapad 2017 ("West"), has stoked fresh alarm in NATO-members Poland and the Baltic states as a more assertive Russia pushes back against what it sees as the alliance's unjustified expansion into eastern Europe.

NATO chief demands Russian 'transparency' on war games

World Bulletin / News Desk

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday urged the Kremlin to comply with rules on transparency as it gears up for huge military exercises along the alliance's eastern flank next month.

"I call on Russia to ensure compliance with its obligations under the OSCE Vienna Document, because predictability, transparency is especially important when we have increased military activity along our borders," Stoltenberg told reporters in Warsaw at a joint press conference with Poland's right-wing Prime Minister Beata Szydlo.

The Vienna Document requires all sides to provide advance information about exercises and allow observer teams so as to avoid any dangerous misunderstandings.

The NATO chief had much stronger words for Moscow on Thursday in Italy when he said that "the aggressive behaviour of Russia has undermined stability and security in Europe."

He vowed on Friday that the alliance would "be watching very closely as this (Zapad) exercise takes place next month" in Belarus, which borders alliance members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Under Vienna Document provisions, manoeuvres involving more than 13,000 troops must be notified in advance and be open to observers.

Belarus has said Zapad 2017 involves 12,700 troops, just under the limit, but Lithuania and other critics claim there could be as many as 100,000.

 

Last Mod: 25 Ağustos 2017, 12:43
Add Comment