Russian troops will not stay in Belarus after the West-2017 military exercise, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said when interviewed by Belarusian media on Friday.
According to him, the upcoming joint Russian-Belarusian war game have repeatedly caused social media storms.
“Now we are getting ready for the West-2017. Some years ago we held the Union Shield-2015 exercise, there were the same cries: ‘Russian troops will come to take part in the exercise, then stay there forever and occupy Belarus’. It is difficult to imagine something more ridiculous, especially when it comes to politicians who have a show of respectability in the EU. The rumors of our preparing for bringing troops into Belarus under the guise of the exercises have been repeatedly denied by both Russia and Belarus. Our NATO colleagues do know that they have an invitation to the exercises which will be conducted in a transparent manner as all previous joint games were,” Lavrov told journalists.
The issue of the Russian airbase in Belarus has not been discussed over the last recent years, the Russian Foreign Minister stressed.
“We accepted the decision taken by the President of the Republic of Belarus, which was absolutely within its powers and competence. We fully respect it,” he added.
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