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US general appeals to Russia for greater transparency ahead of war games

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 16.08.2017 08:30
The US Army's top general in Europe has appealed to Russia for transparency in military drills ahead of Russian war games near the Polish border next month.
Ben Hodges. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański.Ben Hodges. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański.

Speaking at Polish Armed Forces Day festivities in Warsaw on Tuesday, General Ben Hodges said that hundreds of journalists and politicians watched US drills, guaranteeing their transparency.

“I would encourage the Russian Federation to show the same spirit of transparency,” Hodges said.

“The Russian Federation ... could really reduce anxiety that countries on the eastern flank of NATO have if they would be transparent,” he added.

A number of Russian officials had previously indicated that its war games would be open to the media and NATO observers.

Russia is due to start “Zapad 2017” military exercises in Kaliningrad and Belarus in mid-September. According to reports, up to 100,000 Russian and Belarusian soldiers are expected to take part.

Hodges last month said the war games could be a “Trojan horse” aimed at leaving equipment behind in Belarus.

Moscow has not indicated that it planned to leave equipment in Belarus but Hodges said greater transparency would put US allies in Eastern Europe at ease.

US paratroopers are expected to be deployed to Estonia for the duration of Zapad from 14-20 September, while Poland is expected to start its own war games with NATO allies and other partners on 23 September. (vb/pk)

Source: IAR, Reuters

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