Belarus and Russia Prepare Zapad 2013 Military Exercise

In order to continue raising awareness that Moscow can still be on the doorstep of Europe and NATO, one can likely conclude that Moscow will repeat the nuclear preemptive attack training on Warsaw, Poland. As was reported a while ago:

Belarus and Russia will stage a joint military exercise on Belarusian territory in September, allegedly to rehearse a defense against a Polish attack on the country. Controversy concerning plans for Zapad 2013 relate to the issue of whether Moscow will repeat the pattern from Zapad 2009 and also rehearse a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Poland. On April 4, the Belarusian defense ministry issued a statement to refute this claim in response to an article that appeared on a Polish news website (Interfax, April 8).

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka approved the scenario for the exercise in February 2013, though bilateral plans for Zapad 2013 were finalized in October 2012. Unlike Zapad 2009, this year’s exercise will feature the regional group of forces of Belarus and Russia as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) rapid reaction forces. However, Lukashenka stressed that the exercise poses “no threat to other countries,” and in accordance with the country’s military doctrine “we do not view any state as our enemy” (Interfax, April 8).

Full article: Belarus and Russia Prepare Zapad 2013 Military Exercise (The Jamestown Foundation)

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