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MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. The snap check of combat readiness in Russia’s Armed Forces is maximally open and is taking place only in Russian territory, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday.
"It’s no clatter of tracks, no arms rattling, no muscle flexing," he said. We are not acting like some countries that provocatively display their strength near the border with Russia, moving personnel, weapons and equipment from their own to foreign territory," he said.
"Moreover, during these actions they stage some kind of marches of Boy Scouts (similar to our Young Pioneers) who walk in pants with straps carrying pennants of various colours," said the deputy defense minister.
Antonov said that immediately after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu issued the order to start the inspection, a meeting of the military command was called where media outlets were invited. Shoigu gave the details of the number of troops involved in the manoeuvres, their equipment and tasks and also gave orders in the presence of reporters, the deputy minister said. He added that Russian reporters daily receive data on the snap check progress.
According to the deputy defense minister, the number of troops and military equipment during the check exceeds no limits, in the event of which Moscow would have to notify the EU countries and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of the exercises.
"We have done so before, although we are not bound by any international obligations in this regard," Antonov said.
"Nevertheless, as a goodwill gesture we have informed through the OSCE communication channels all European states about the beginning of a snap check and the number of troops involved in it. We will continue to do so," the deputy defense minister said.