Gen Riho Terras. Phot. ERR News
If the political situation in Belarus shapes badly for Russia, the Kremlin might follow the pattern in Ukraine, Generał Riho Terras believes.
According to him, the purpose of Zapad and other military and joint exercises is to tie the Armed Forces of Belarus as closely as possible to the Russian Armed Forces. The goal is to cripple Belarus’ independent military capability, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) General Riho Terras told Estonian TV station ERR.
„Similarly to Ukraine, Russia is planning on taking military steps against Belarus if the political situation in Belarus changes. The Russian Armed Forces and security structures have prepared to intervene if necessary and launch a military operation in Belarus. The direction and planning of this operation began in 2014,” he said.
In his opinion, it is symbolic that Russian President Putin visited the exercise in Russia specifically, although it has been stressed that the main focus was on joint exercises in Belarus.
“The exercise included various defense areas, Baltic and North Sea fleets, missile forces and special operations. If this is all being done as an anti-terror operation, then it is clear that this is clearly excessive,” General Riho Terras concluded.
Belsat.eu, via ERR