President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko demanded to allow NATO observers on the Russian-Belarusian exercises "West-2017". On Monday, March 20, he said during the meeting in Minsk, reports the press service of the Belarusian leader.
"I demand you all to this event on the territory of our country was transparent and all the actions were available not only to our friends in the CSTO, EAEC, CIS, and representatives of the North Atlantic Alliance — NATO. We do not hide anything to hide and should not. If NATO members want to attend our teachings, you are welcome. Moreover, I such information and signals from them are already receiving," — said Lukashenko.
He added that the upcoming exercises are purely defensive in nature. "Neither we nor the Russian Federation this direction is going is not something that somebody to come, we don't want anyone to provoke here. In any case! We in any case prepared to ensure their safety in any situation", — said the Belarusian leader.
23 February the Minister of defense of Belarus Andrei Ravkov said, that the exercises "West-2017" threat to the sovereignty of the country do not carry. "The idea of teaching, the areas of the meeting, the number of personnel and military equipment, participating from Russia, — all this is developed and agreed with the Belarusian side. All troop movements are also controlled by us," he said.
Strategic exercises "West-2017" will be held in September at several sites of Russia and Belarus will be the main event of joint training of the armed forces this year. According to the Russian Minister of defense Sergey Shoigu, during the development of the scenario will take into account the increased activity of NATO near the borders of the Union state.