NATO officials are concerned about the Zapad 2017 military manoeuvres, the Alliance believes that these drills are not enough transparent for the observers.
The large-scale Zapad 2017 military manoeuvres being started this week by Russia and Belarus became a subject of discussions at the NATO offices all over the Europe. One of the versions of Zapad-2017 conducting is “a serious preparation for big war” by Russia.
In his interview, Gen. Petr Pavel, head of NATO’s Military Committee, reiterated that NATO is increasing efforts to re-establish the military-to-military communications with Russia to avoid any “unintended consequences of potential incidents during the exercise.”
The annual conference will be held this year in the Albanian capital of Tirana, the agenda for the defence chiefs of NATO member countries includes the counter-terrorism measures, the situation in the Western Balkans and the new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
NATO, Western Balkans, and Russian threat
The Military Committee offers consensus-based advice on how the alliance can best meet global security challenges.
Stability and security in the Western Balkan countries were also discussed during the conference.
“We do not compete with Russia for the Western Balkans. We are primarily focused on the Balkans being stable and secure,”
he said. Estonia’s Defense Minister Margus Tsahkna says NATO has intelligence suggesting Kremlin may leave Russian soldiers in Belarus once the exercises are over, the lack of transparency from Russia allows to think in such a way, say the military experts.