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Estonia to send observers to Zapad exercise

Troops participating in Zapad 2013.
Troops participating in Zapad 2013. Source: (Alexei Druzhinin/ITAR-TASS/Scanpix)

Estonia will send three observers to the joint Russian-Belarusian Zapad military exercise taking place this week, daily Postimees reported.

According to Estonian Ministry of Defence spokesperson Andres Sang, Russia has decided to introduce the exercise to defense attachés accredited Moscow at a training rage in Luga on Sept. 17-18; Estonia's defense attaché will also be participating in this event.

Official Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) invitations for observation have not been issued, however.

Belarus has formally notified the OSCE that Zapad will be held on Belarusian territory from Sept. 14-20. In addition, based on the principles of the Vienna Document, the country has invitied two observers each from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Sweden and Ukraine to take part in a program taking place from Sept. 16-20.

Estonia has accepted Belarus' invitation and will send two observers to participate in the program. The Ministry of Defence does not have information regarding the extent of the access that observers will have to the drills.

The Estonian defense attaché will also participate in a Zapad-related program to be organized by the Belarusian Ministry of Defence from Sept. 19-21.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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