Russian Federation has always been wary of NATO's expansion eastward - toward Russia's western borders.
Russian and Belarusian soldiers will march in unison today, as their countries commence the quadrennial Zapad-Russian for "West"-military exercise".
But that has not reassured countries in the region anxious that Russian Federation poses a threat. "They still have a way to go, but they learn fast", he said.
The West-2017 exercises will start on Thursday and end on 20 September. That is just below the level at which Russian Federation and Belarus would be required under an global convention to invite Western observers.
But despite Vladimir Putin's insistence that only 12,700 troops will be involved- just under the 13,000 figure that triggers treaty agreements for global observers - Germany and France say the real figure is closer to 100,000.
A Russian T-90 tank fires in Kubinka Patriot Park outside Moscow during the first day of the "Army 2017" International Military-Technical Forum, Aug. 22, 2017.more +.
US troops are now taking part in a multinational military exercise in Ukraine, an exercise that comes just days before Russian Federation is scheduled to launch their own massive military maneuvers that have put the region on edge. Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, the commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, summed up the concerns to Reuters in July: "People are anxious this is a Trojan horse".
What are these war games?More news: PM Modi receives Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Ahmedabad
More news: Required Power level for Destiny 2's first Raid revealed
More news: Fox bid for Sky referred to Competition & Markets Authority by culture secretary
"Russia is the country that affects security in Europe right now with its actions - the annexation of the Crimea and continued battles in eastern Ukraine - so it is clear that we are watching very closely what Russian Federation is doing", Byden said.
U.S. Army Lt. Gen.
The arrival of some 1,000 pieces of U.S. military equipment is part of the largest reinforcement of eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.
The exercises involve up to 12,700 servicemen, including around 7,200 from Belarus and some 5,500 Russian troops, of whom up to 3,000 will take part in maneuvers in Belarusian territory. Moscow criticized those exercises as a threat. According to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation estimates, Soviet war games in Eastern Europe included as many as 150,000 troops during their peak in 1981.
Russia-West relations nosedived to their lowest level since the Cold War in recent years after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support of separatists fighting the Ukrainian government in eastern Ukraine, clashes that have left over 10,000 people dead.
That would put the drill below levels that oblige Russian Federation to invite military observers in large numbers from neighbouring states under a treaty called the Vienna Document, with Nato invited to send just three monitors and with a handful of military attaches from Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, and Norway to also take part.
"Ukraine was attacked shortly after the Zapad 2013 exercises, and a few years earlier there was the attack on Georgia, also after large military manoeuvres", Poland Deputy Defence Minister Michal Dworczyk told the Polish PAP news agency.