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No Russian troops in Belarus after Zapad 2017 army exercise

Society 25.10.2017 | 17:56
Belarusian Defense Ministry. An archive photo
Belarusian Defense Ministry. An archive photo

MINSK, 25 October (BelTA) – The International Military Cooperation Department of the Belarusian Defense Ministry has refuted information about Russian troops lingering in Belarus after the Zapad 2017 army exercise, BelTA has learned.

According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry website, a number of sources are busy spreading information about armed forces — over 5,000 men — from Russia, who are allegedly staying in Belarus long after the Belarusian-Russian strategic army exercise Zapad 2017 ended. The sources also claim that information about the presence of the Russian troops had been confirmed as a result of inspections by representatives of OSCE member states. The International Military Cooperation Department reminded that the entire Russian contingent, which took part in the Zapad 2017 army exercise, left Belarus in September.

After the exercise ended, as part of Belarus' international arms control commitments the country welcomed four inspections, which participants visited Belarusian army units to evaluate military information. The inspections took place in line with the bilateral agreement on additional trust and security measures with Lithuania and in line with the agreement between the Belarusian and Ukrainian governments. Apart from that, Belarus also welcomed an inspection team from Slovakia as part of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. The foreign inspectors failed to find any undeclared military forces, including Russian ones. Their official reports confirmed it.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said that a number of mass media would do well to release news based on official and verified sources of information.

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