Russian-Belarusian military exercises ”West-2017,” scheduled to be held this fall, can be used to launch direct aggression against neighboring countries, including Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy said, addressing the participants of the Ukraine – Poland – Lithuania Interparliamentary Assembly on Monday, the press service of the Uлкainian parliament reports.
Parubiy said no one should rule out ”the worst scenario: the use of exercises, at least for the militarization of Belarus, and ultimately – for carrying out direct aggression or subversive activities against our states from the territory of Belarus.”
The Rada chairman suggests that the current situation in Belarus must not be assessed separately from the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine and European democracy. Parubiy believes that ”the Kremlin is brazenly using the Belarusian people as hostage to its occupation policies.”
”Therefore, we must pay special attention to the Belarus issue and strengthen interaction between our countries and members of the EU and NATO in order to make it impossible for Putin`s threatening plans to be implemented toward Belarus or from the territory of Belarus,” Parubiy said.
As UNIAN reported, Parubiy said that the meeting of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania will address issues of interregional and international cooperation. Also, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine said that he would invite Poland and Lithuania to jointly appeal to other EU member states and the U.S. regarding the ”threat of Putin`s regime.”