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    NATO to Send Experts to Russia-Belarus Zapad-2017 Drills After Invitation

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    NATO Spokeswoman Oana Lungescu stated that NATO is planning to send experts to attend Russia-Belarus joint military exercises Zapad-2017 (West-2017).

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – NATO plans to send two experts to attend Russia-Belarus joint military exercises Zapad-2017 (West-2017), slated for September 14-20, NATO Spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told Sputnik Wednesday.

    "Belarus and Russia have each invited military representatives to attend Visitors’ Days on their respective territories during ZAPAD 2017. NATO will send two experts to attend the Visitors’ Days in Belarus. NATO has now assessed Russia’s invitation and we are going to send an expert to its Visitors’ Day," Lungescu said.

    Lungescu noted that NATO welcomed the invitations from both Minsk and Moscow, but stressed that "they are not a substitute for observation as set out in the Vienna Document," which implies briefings and talks with soldiers about the drills.

    On Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recalled that NATO had accepted Belarus’ invitation to visit the drill for several days although the alliance had not decided whether to accept the Russian side’s invitation as it implied attendance, but not observation of the exercises.



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