Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have no intention of inviting other world leaders to join him in attending the Vostok 2018 military exercises. His press secretary Dmitry Peskov said there are no plans “[to invite other leaders to visit the exercises] together with the President of Russia,” Interfax reports. Peskov added that does not know if the leaders of other countries will attend the exercises separately.
The Vostok 2018 exercises will be held in Siberia and in the Far East from September 11 to 15. According to the Minister of Defense of Russia, Sergey Shoygu, they will be the largest exercises since 1981. About three hundred thousand servicemen and thirty-six thousand tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles, and over a thousand helicopters, aircraft and drones will be involved in the exercises.
NATO said these exercises were Russia’s preparation for “large conflicts,” which is why the alliance will closely monitor them. NATO’s spokesman, Dylan White also said that the alliance is considering Russia’s invitations to military attaches of NATO countries to take part in the exercises as observers.
Later, Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin stated that there is no “context” or any signs of “anti NATO intentions” in the Vostok 2018 exercises.