News ID: 200211
Published: 0231 GMT September 09, 2017

Russia berates German minister for war games remarks

Russia berates German minister for war games remarks
PAVEL GOLOVKIN/AP
A man watches Russian military jets performing in Alabino.

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday criticized German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, saying it was bewildered by her assertion that Moscow planned to send more than 100,000 troops to war games on NATO’s eastern flank this month.

On Thursday, the German defense minister said the war games, codenamed Zapad or “West”, were a clear “demonstration of capabilities and power of the Russians,” Reuters reported.

“Anyone who doubts that only has to look at the high numbers of participating forces in the Zapad exercise: more than one hundred thousand,” von der Leyen told reporters at an EU defense ministers’ meeting in Tallinn, Estonia.

Russia has said that its joint war games with Belarus will be purely defensive in nature, rejecting what it called false allegations that it might use the drills to train for invasions of Poland, Lithuania or Ukraine.

“We are bewildered by the statements of Ursula von der Leyen, publicly talking through her hat and making arbitrary allegations about 100,000 Russian troops ...and about hidden threats to Europe,” Russia’s military said in a statement.

Russia has said around 13,000 troops from Russia and Belarus and almost 700 pieces of military hardware will be used in the exercises to be held in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad on Sept. 14-20.

General Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s general staff, used a meeting on Thursday with General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO military committee, to reassure him about the upcoming war games.

“It is hard to imagine that Ursula von der Leyen’s colleagues from NATO, other competent German ministries or her own subordinates deliberately misled her,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said. “It is much easier to suppose the opposite.”

 

 

   
KeyWords
 
Comments
Comment
Name:
Email:
Comment:
Security Key:
Captcha refresh
Page Generated in 0/3077 sec