The head of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, Raimundas Karoblis, said that during the Belarusian-Russian Zapad-2017 tactical exercises, Russia worked on the scenarios for an attack on the Baltic States, reported Lithuanian newspaper Respublika.
“The fact that Russia simulated an attack on all the Baltic countries is important,” Karoblis stressed. He noted that during the exercises there were obvious decisions made of a tactical and strategic nature, and there was actual bombing near the Lithuanian border.
According to the head of the Defense Ministry, Russia – to the extent possible – informed NATO about the forthcoming exercises, and organizations were sent “appropriate invitations.” Karoblis also stressed that the Russian Federation is becoming an increasingly serious threat to the Baltic countries and NATO.
“This is not the army of 2009 or 2014. They have learned from their mistakes in Syria and are clearly gaining strength,” said the minister, and he added that the actual number of military personnel participating in the exercises significantly exceeded what was stated.
Earlier, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin demonstrated readiness for an offensive war during the Russian-Belarusian Zapad-2017 military exercises.