After the introduction of Lieutenant-General Anatoly Sirotenko as the new head of the Ivan Chernyakhovsky National Defense University of Ukraine, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak stated that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has made preparations in case of a threat of invasion by Russian troops during the Russian-Belarusian West-2017 exercises, which will be held on September 14-20.
“We are monitoring the situation. We know about all the movements of Russian troops up to our border. We understand what threats may arise, and we will respond adequately to those threats connected with these exercises,” said the head of the defense department.
"The General Staff has in mind a number of measures that would be adequate to meet these threats,” Poltorak stressed. He also said that he was speaking about “a threat of invasion.”
“Incidentally, regardless of the exercises, such a threat is not ruled out, but these exercises have potential threats, as a large number of personnel will move to the Ukrainian border within the framework of exercises in the territory of Belarus,” said Poltorak.
“We regard everything that happens on the Ukrainian border as an unfriendly step and as a threat to Ukraine,” the minister said.
The joint strategic Zapad-2017 exercises of Belarus and Russia are planned for September 14-20. According to preliminary data, up to 13,000 servicemen will take part in the exercises.