Russian Federation launches massive war games on Nato's eastern flank


North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said its biggest exercise this year, codenamed Trident Javelin 17, planned to run from 8-17 November, would involve only 3,000 troops. "When we only look at the exercise that is presented by Russian Federation, there should be no worry".

Russia and Belarus have said the exercises, which last until September 20, will involve 5,500 Russian and 7,200 Belarusian troops.

Poland is among only five North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries that meet the alliance's requirement of spending at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

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The Russian announcement Thursday was accompanied by a reassurance repeated by Moscow for weeks, that the current exercise is "of an entirely defensive nature and is not aimed at any other states".

Concerns in the Western alliance were raised by the apparent difference between official Russian figures about the size of the exercise - 12,700 troops, 138 tanks, 40 jets and helicopters - and Western estimates, based on troop and equipment movements, that the number could range from 70,000 to as many as 100,000 participants.

"We are anxious about this is an open preparation for war with the West", Ms. Grybauskaite told reporters.

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Russian Federation denied charges that the exercises were being conducted with a lack of transparency, and accused the West of "whipping up hysteria". Pavel said it was "mainly focused on transparency and risk reduction and avoidance of unintended consequences of potential incidents". The job of the Soviet tanks was to smash through North Atlantic Treaty Organisation lines, including the 300,000 United States troops once stationed in Europe. "The main goals are to improve interoperability among the military staff, harmonize troops management systems and provide commanders of various levels of importance with an opportunity to train their skills in planning military events and managing troops based on the experience received during modern armed conflicts", said the Russian defence ministry.

Stability and security in the Western Balkan countries were also discussed during the conference. Pavel said trouble in the region could come from radicalism, organized crime, migration, economic problems or the "malign influence from Russian Federation".

The war games come with tensions between Russian Federation and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation at their highest since the Cold War due to the Kremlin's meddling in Ukraine and the US-led alliance bolstering its forces in eastern Europe.

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He also said there was no plan for reducing troops in Kosovo or setting a time length for their presence. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has not recognized it.