USA: Number of troops participating in Zapad-2017 military exercises was more than declared by Russia
Washington is not afraid of a possible build-up of the Russian military presence at the borders of NATO countries after the Zapad 2017 exercises, as indicated by the Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, in response to questions from The Washington Post.
"I cannot say for sure, but our people have been closely watching and they have no fears," the diplomat said. She added that the exercises were a "big show." "We watched it as much as we could," Hutchinson said, referring to the collection of intelligence.
The US representative to NATO also accused Russia of not being transparent. According to her, the Vienna agreements specify that if more than 13,000 military personnel participate in exercises, observers must be admitted. "There were much more there," Hutchison said, without giving the exact number.
The joint Russian-Belarusian strategic exercises Zapad 2017 took place in Belarus and Russia from September 14th to September 20th.