MINSK, September 13. /TASS/. The Zapad-2017 (or West 2017) Belarusian-Russian military drills, scheduled to be held in Belarus, will involve 138 tanks, including 98 Russian ones, says the data presented at the Wednesday briefing by Head of the Belarusian Defense Ministry’s International Military Cooperation Department Oleg Voinov.
According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry, the drills that will be held on the country’s territory, will involve 231 armored fighting vehicles, including 104 Russian ones. Out of 241 artillery and missile systems, 32 have been brought from Russia. Besides, 40 aircraft, including 27 Russian planes and helicopters, will fly air patrols over the country.
The Zapad-2017 joint Russian-Belarusian drills will take place on September 14-20 at six training ranges in Belarus and three training ranges in Russia. Around 12,700 troops are expected to participate in the military exercises, with 10,200 of them deployed to Belarus. The drills will also involve 680 pieces of military hardware.
The Belarusian Defense Ministry has invited several countries and international organizations, including United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to monitor the drills.
Russia, in turn, has sent invitations to defense ministers of a number of countries to attend the final stage of the exercises.