Estonian Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu has said that Russia's largest military exercise of recent years, Zapad 2013, which begins today, is aimed at undermining the security environment in the Baltic Sea region.
“The maneuvers called Zapad 2013 are not transparent. Russia may have publicly declared the exercise to be for practicing counter-terrorism moves, but in truth the scenario shows a situation where an counter-terrorism fight has escalated into a conflict with NATO members,” Reinsalu said at a government press conference Thursday.
He said no Baltic observes have been invited to participate.
The joint Russian-Belarusian maneuvers will be held from September 20 to 26 in western and northwestern parts of Russia and in Belarus. They will involve 13,000 soldiers, mostly from Belarus.