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West-2017 Exercise is Very Damaging for Belarus – Statement by the BNR Rada

Statement by the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile regarding the Belarusian-Russian joint military exercise

The military exercise codenamed “West-2017” is starting in Belarus, and is held jointly with military units of the Russian Federation. This exercise is taking place against the background of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and cyber-attacks against the democratic institutions of the West.

The Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (the BNR Rada) shares the concerns expressed by the democratic community in Belarus, as well as by some foreign observers, regarding that some of the Russian military units may – contrary to all the statements from the representatives of the ministry of defense of Belarus – stay in Belarus after the exercises. The BNR Rada emphasizes that such a development would present a new factor of danger not only for Belarus but also for other European countries – the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, and the Republic of Poland. This would present a particular risk for Ukraine, as its northern and western regions would in that case become exposed for an attack by Russia’s land forces.

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