Defense minister to present initial assessment of Zapad drills

Raimundas Karoblis
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Zapad started on September 14 and ran through September 20. Before the drills, Lithuanian officials were concerned about the scale of the exercise and its possibly offensive scenario.

According to the officials, the drills could involve up to 100,000 troops, but Russia underreported the scale of the exercise so as not to give wider access to observers.

Two transport aircraft violated Lithuanian airspace over the Curonian Spit on their way from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad during the Zapad exercise.

Russia said that the crews of the aircraft had obtained permission from Lithuanian air traffic officials to enter Lithuanian airspace due to a weather emergency. Vilnius denied having given such permission to the Il-76 planes.

The defense minister on Tuesday is also to present his assessment of Zapad 2017 to the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense.

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