14:25 GMT +320 January 2018
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    Zapad-2017 Drills: Russia Acting in Line With International Law, Senior MP Says

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    Russia is acting in compliance with the international legal norms in relation to the joint Zapad-2017 military exercise with Belarus, Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Russian upper house's Committee on Defense and Security, told Sputnik Saturday, adding that Poland had nothing to worry about.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Polish defense minister said on Friday Warsaw was concerned that the Russian troops, deployed in Belarus for the drills, might stay at the border with Poland after the exercise. The joint drills are set to take place on September 14-20.

    "Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz had joined the choir of the Western politicians artificially escalating the situation around the Zapad-2017 drills. There is no basis for such a hysteria," Klintsevich said, adding that while defining the objectives of the upcoming exercise, both Russia and Belarus have been "acting solely within the framework of the relevant international norms and agreements."

    This legislation empowers Moscow and Minsk to make any decisions ensuring both countries' security, the parliamentarian added.

    "Poland has nothing to worry about. I can only recommend its leadership to avoid any provocations during the exercise," Klintsevich concluded.

    The grounds of the joint Russian-Belarusian drills will stretch from the Kola Peninsula in Russia's far northwest to Belarus.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the hype raised by the Western media around the Zapad-2017 military exercise is designed to justify to the European public the costs of building up NATO's military activity.

    Related:

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    Lithuanian Inspectors to Observe Russia-Belarus Zapad-2017 Drills - MoD
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    military exercise, Zapad-2017, Poland, Russia, Belarus
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