The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is concerned about Russia and Belarus’ recent joint manoeuvres "West-2009", said the official NATO spokesperson James Appathurai on Wednesday.
As RIA Novosti informs, Mr. Appathurai noted that the Council of NATO on the level of ambassadors of 28 member-countries of the Alliance had expressed concern at the session in Brussels over the scale of the drills which became "the biggest exercises since the end of the Cold War," and over the fact that Russia had not invited observers, which NATO considers "violation of Vienna obligations".
Besides, Mr. Appathurai said NATO member-states also expressed their concern over the scenario of the Russian – Belarusian drills that simulated attacks of Russia from the west.
NATO will continue considering this case and its possible influence on NATO – Russia relations, which are on the way to improving, Appathurai said. To a question of RIA Novosti he answered the Alliance may request Russia about additional explanations regarding the military exercise.
In the interview with udf.by the Belarusian politician, Major General Valery Fralou highlighted that "armed forces are, first of all, a tool for deterrence of military aggression". "As a military man I am very happy that these exercises took place", said the ex-deputy of the House of Representatives. According to him, "manoeuvres are a natural process for any army in the world; it’s another thing that a lot of states do not find necessary funds for this".
The General does not except the NATO spokesman’s claims about ‘not-inviting’ their observers. "There are a lot of smart people in General staffs of both countries who know when, whom, and to where to invite", said V. Fralou.
According to the politician, NATO’s concern is ungrounded. "Neither Belarus nor Russia want a war. Our states know the pain and suffering of people brought by military conflicts", he said.