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Concerns regarding the Zapad 2017 Russia-Belarus joint military drills

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09.09.2017
The Zapad 2017 military drills jointly conducted by Russia and Belarus every four year are scheduled to take place in Belarus, the Kaliningrad enclave, and Russia’s western regions bordering the Baltics and Poland on Sept. 14-20. These drills have amplified the security concerns not only of the Baltic states, Poland, and Ukraine, but also of NATO officials. The drills also raise questions as to whether they are only related to combat readiness training or a cover for Russia’s suspicious geopolitical ambitions. Either way, they demonstrate Russia’s increasing assertiveness vis-a-vis the West and point to the emerging counters of the geopolitical game, in the context of the wider background of a maturing New Cold War two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The magnitude of the drills is the primary cause of concern for the West and the states neighboring western Russia. Russia and Belarus have declared that 12,700 troops, 70 aircrafts, 680 armored vehicles, 200 artillery units and 10 war vessels will be involved. However, Western some experts claim that to escape international responsibility related to the presence of international observers to monitor the drills, Russia and Belarus have deliberately misinformed the international community........

© Hürriyet Daily News