Damien Sharkov newsweek.com 2/10/17
Lithuania’s president, Dalia Grybauskaite, has called Russia’s upcoming joint military drill with neighboring Belarus a “demonstrative preparation for war with the West” and has sought more assurance against such a possible incursion.
The upcoming Zapad 2017 drill (which translates as West 2017) will be a joint exercise in September between Russia and Belarus, which Moscow has described as a response to NATO’s eastern reinforcement. Russia has repeatedly reprimanded its western neighbors for seeking international help in the face of Moscow’s ongoing military build up and its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have been particularly concerned about Russia repeating its strategy in Crimea on their soil.
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Lithuania accuses Russia of “demonstrative preparation” for war on the West