MINSK, August 28 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian-Belarusian exercises, Zapad 2013, will confirm Belarus’ commitment to its obligations with Russia, Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin said.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Zhadobin said, “These are defensive exercises, which will confirm Belarus’ policy towards strengthening security.”
The exercises will be observed by military and diplomatic officials accredited at the Belarusian Defense Ministry. Military observers from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine will also attend the exercises, the Belarusian minister said.
The exercises will take place in Belarus from September 20 to September 26 and involve about 13,000 servicemen, including about 10,000 servicemen from Belarus and 2,500 servicemen from Russia. Over 50 aircraft and helicopters, 350 units of armored vehicles, including about 70 tanks, will be involved in the maneuvers.
The exercises will also involve about 300 servicemen of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. They will improve combat skills within the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) Collective Rapid Reaction Force maneuvers code-named Interaction 2013.