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Belarus responds to Ukraine's derogative remarks about Zapad 2017 army exercise

Society 26.09.2017 | 16:16

MINSK, 26 September (BelTA) – The Belarusian Defense Ministry has responded to Ukraine's remarks, which claim the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 was nominally open. BelTA learned the view of the Belarusian army from the Belarusian Defense Ministry website.

The day before the Ukrainian Defense Ministry website released an evaluation of the Zapad 2017 army exercise by representatives of the Verification Office of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Among other things the Ukrainian side believes that the Zapad 2017 army exercise was only “nominally open”.

The International Military Cooperation Department of the Belarusian Defense Ministry cannot agree with the Ukrainian statement. The Belarusian side explained that representatives of seven countries parties to the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, including five NATO member states, observed the Zapad 2017 exercise on 16-20 September. Ragnhild Valle Hustad from Norway was elected head of the group of observers by the general consensus.

“In line with the statement by Ragnhild Valle Hustad, who spoke on behalf of all the observers, the concept and the scale of the Zapad 2017 army exercise matched the previous statements. Ragnhild Valle Hustad pointed out the openness and transparency of the Belarusian side in organizing the observation of the exercise”, reminded representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry. The Belarusian Defense Ministry pointed out that Ukrainian military observers had refused to evaluate the Zapad 2017 army exercise.

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