MOSCOW, August 16 (Itar-Tass) - Russia is fulfilling its international commitments in the area of control over conventional arms in Europe during the preparations for joint strategic drills with Belarus Zapad-2013, Sergei Koshelev, the chief of the Russian defence ministry’s international military cooperation department, told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“Thus, in line with the Vienna document of 2011 on confidence- and security-building measures, a formal notification was issued on August 8 to European partners informing about the maximal number of Russian personnel, armaments and military hardware,” he said. According to Koshelev, the purpose of this provision of the Vienna document is to inform the parties about forthcoming military activities in order to assess the authenticity of information about it and to plan monitoring measures.
Preparatory work for the forthcoming Zapad-2013 drills is still underway. It is expected to be over by mid-September. Taking into account intense interest from NATO countries to the Zapad-2013 exercises, Russia has undertaken to provide additional information about the drills.
Thus, at a Russia-NATO Council ambassadorial meeting on July 24, Russia’s Deputy Chief of Staff Alexander Postnikov spoke about the tasks of the drills and provided information about the number of servicemen to be involved at various stages of these exercises.