10:51 GMT10 July 2020
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    Polish Deputy Minister of National Defense Michal Dworczyk has again expressed concern over upcoming joint Russia-Belarus military exercises dubbed the Zapad-2017.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) — Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance did not see any imminent threat posed against any NATO member by the drills, however, Baltic states and Poland again resorted to citing the alleged threat from Russia and voiced concern over the drills.

    "There are many doubts and fears that, because of the Russian Federation's previous actions, not all forces and equipment will be removed after the exercise," Dworczyk told reporters.

    He noted that Zapad-2017 would be closely monitored by Poland and security agencies of Western countries.

    "Also, we do not have absolute certainty what forces will be used. Because now there are a lot of premises to assume that there would not be forces as claimed by the Russians and Belarusians, but more [forces]," Dworczyk stressed.

    At the same time, the deputy minister added that residents of Poland can feel "absolutely safe."

    At a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels, the Russian side informed the alliance of the Zapad-2017 exercises, while NATO members briefed on the upcoming Trident Javelin exercises.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that increasing military presence of NATO in Eastern Europe went unnoticed amid groundless criticism of the Russian-Belarusian Zapad-2017 military exercises.

    Moscow has repeatedly criticized the increased presence of the alliance’s troops and military facilities near the Russian border. Moscow has said Russia had never planned and does not plan to attack any NATO member.

    Zapad-2017 is a joint strategic exercise of the Russian and Belarusian armed forces scheduled for September 14-20, 2017.


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