The Minister of defence of Estonia Margus Tsahkna announced plans of the aggressor state of Russia to place in Belarus on an ongoing basis contingent with the aim of “challenge” to NATO. This assumption, he said in an interview with Reuters.
Tsahkna refers to the intelligence of Estonia and other countries of the Alliance, which supposedly indicate the intentions of Russia not to withdraw its soldiers from Belarus after the completion of the exercise Zapad-2017. According to him, the aggressor state is planning to use about 4 thousand railway wagons for transporting to a neighboring country military and technology.
“For the Russian military, heading to Belarus is a one-way ticket,” – said the Minister of defence of Estonia, adding that it was not his personal opinion, but the result of a thorough analysis of the actions of the Russian Federation on the border with the EU and NATO. The estimated number of new Russian troops in Belarus Tsahkna estimated at “thousands.”
Among the possible motives of such actions of the Kremlin Estonian Minister called preservation of the image of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “strong leader” on the eve of elections in 2018, as well as the strengthening of ties with Belarus concerned over the annexation of Crimea.
To comment on this issue in the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation to journalists has failed.
Read also: Belarus and the Baltic States should prepare for the surprises of the Russian Federation – Poroshenko
In September 2017, Moscow and Minsk plan to hold large-scale joint military exercises called Zapad-2017. According to some NATO countries, the number involved in the maneuvers of the units can reach more than 100 thousand people. Also, says Reuters, the teachings may include “training with the use of nuclear weapons”.
Diplomats of the Alliance noted that in previous large-scale exercises of the aggressor state – in 2013 – were involved in the special operations forces, missiles of distant radius of action and drones, which were subsequently used by Russia during the occupation of Crimea and intervention in Syria, and to support militants in the Donbass.
April 26, 2017, President Petro Poroshenko during a joint briefing with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko expressed confidence that no one will involve Belarus in the war against Ukraine. In response, Lukashenko said that Belarusians can come or come to Ukraine “only on the tractor”.