18 January 2018, Thursday, 16:46

Lithuanian Defence Minister: Military exercises in Belarus reminded of cold war


There came a breath of the cold war with the Belarusian-Russian army exercises near Lithuanian borders, as they contradict security reality completely, Lithuanian Defence Minister Rasa Juknevičienė states.

Despite of the fact that the concept of these exercises is wrong, they pose no threat to Lithuania, the minister believes.

Commenting to DELFI the army exercises held by Russia and Belarus next to the EU and the NATO borders, Rasa Juknevičienė noted with regret that they are out of the picture with current situation.

“These drills are held every year, but it is a pity they are not in line with security reality at all. Neither Lithuania, nor the NATO intends to attack such countries as Belarus and Russia; and neither Lithuania nor the NATO poses any threat to Belarus and Russia. So the idea of the drills is wrong in fact,” said to DELFI.

In such a context the joint exercises of the two Lithuania’s neighbours reminded of the cold war to the minster.

“It reminds me a breath of the cold war, when there really was a military confrontation between the East and the West, the NATO and the Soviet Union. But the NATO chose a different way long ago, and lives in the 21st century, but these exercises unfortunately remind the times of the cold war, not by the manoeuvres themselves, as all armies have to hold exercises, but by their spirit; or they are returning us to those times. If Russia seeks close friendly relations with the NATO, with the US and the EU countries, such exercises are hard to be explained in this context by anything but ideology, power display near the borders of Lithuania. I’d like to believe that with time understanding would come that the life has changed,” the minister noted.

However, according to Rasa Juknevičienė, “these exercises do not pose any threat to Lithuania”.