Baltics launch OSCE appeal over Russia-Belarus military exercises

Protesters called for free elections outside the Belarusian Embassy in Tallinn on June 29.
Protesters called for free elections outside the Belarusian Embassy in Tallinn on June 29. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have lodged an appeal with the OSCE over the "extraordinary movement" of troops and equipment from Russia to Belarus for unscheduled military exercises. Belarus has 48 hours to respond.

The exercises started on Thursday and are supposed to end on February 20. The Baltic states want more information about the nature of the exercises and the equipment involved.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Liisa Toots told ERR that Lithuania had sent a request to Belarus on behalf of the three Baltic states on Wednesday regarding the OSCE Vienna Document.

"Unfortunately, the information provided by Belarus so far about the exercise has been insufficient," she said. 

The Vienna Document allows all member states to ask for exercise information as a confidence-building measure whenever they feel threatened by another member's troop movements.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have requested a "detailed explanation on the exercise," including the total number of troops, battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery pieces, mortars and rocket launchers, envisaged sorties per aircraft, and rapid-reaction forces involved, a spokesperson for the Estonian Embassy in Washington told website Defense News.

It's unclear what response, if any, the Baltics can expect, the portal wrote.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) is the world's largest regional security organization with 57 members.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Helen Wright

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: