Turchynov discussed Russia-Belarus Zapad 2017 exercises with Estonian defense minister

National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov met with Estonian Defense Minister Jüri Luik, the NSDC website announced.

The two discussed the matter of deepening bilateral collaboration in military technology. Furthermore, they devoted a lot of attention to discussing the Zapad 2017 strategic staff and command exercises.

According to Turchynov, against the background of the difficult economic situation in Russia, such large-scale drills “cannot be simply regular military training”.

“We are talking about a demonstration of the determination of the Russian military and political leadership to react ruthlessly to any attempt by the international community to respond by forceful means to their frequent military ventures,” the NSDC secretary stated.

He also considers it possible that there will be new attempts at Russian military interference in the affairs of Ukraine, Belarus, and countries in the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia.

Luik, in turn, stressed that Estonia “has always supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and insists on a future intensification of sanctions against the aggressor state”.

“The matter of Ukraine’s independence is extremely important to us. This is a matter of Europe’s safety,” he said.

  Zapad 2017, Estonia, Ukraine, Turchynov