Distrust of the exercises from the Ukrainian side is justified.
"The mere announcement of the exercises is only half the work, how they will look in reality is another matter. But I think that the Belarusian side will fulfill the promise it has given and everything will be shown to the observers," – Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus Igor Kizim expressed such opinion after a briefing for heads of diplomatic missions of foreign countries and international organizations at the Foreign Ministry, where more than 50 representatives from 37 countries and international organizations were invited, tut.by reports.
The Ambassador said that during the briefing, MFA once again told the diplomats about course of events during the West-2017 exercises. According to the ambassador, such measures demonstrated the openness of the Belarusian side and allowed to ask existing questions.
– There were no questions. But I heard nothing new, it had been discussed long ago, and the Foreign Ministry was very active in giving explanations, – Kizim said.
– I think we should wait for the results of exercises, which will sum them up. Let's see how it will go to avoid the situation, when a lot has been declared, but they show something else. I think that everything will be in accordance with the plan. There will be two Ukrainian observers at the exercises.
According to the ambassador, the Ukrainian side’s widespread concern regarding the exercises has an excuse.
– It is justified from the Ukrainian side, because a Russian component is present there (at the exercises – Ed.). It is obvious that any presence of Russian troops raises concerns from our side, as we are fighting with Russian troops in the east of Ukraine, – the ambassador said.
The Russian-Belarussian exercises West-2017 will start on the territory of Belarus in September. A record number of rail cars — more than 4 thousand — was involved to transfer the Russian contingent. Many politicians and military experts believe that Russian troops will remain in Belarus after the exercises.
The exercises will involve a number of military training ranges in Belarus: near Lepel, Barysau, Vitsebsk, Asipovichy, Ruzhany and Damanava. It is also reported that some raids are planned on the "sector of the terrain" near Dretun.
The Prevention Rally demanding the cancellation of the exercises West-2017 took place at Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk on September 8.