Speaking about the Zapad 2017 exercises, the Ukrainian president noted that "it would be more appropriate to call them ‘Antizapad’ [Anti-West]."
"Naturally, it’s due to this, not for any other reasons, that we have strengthened controls along all sections of our state border," the head of state told MPs.
Read alsoNo signs Moscow ready to retreat from Donbas, withdraw from Crimea - PoroshenkoAs UNIAN reported earlier, citing the official data, an active phase of Zapad 2017 joint strategic exercises involving Russian and Belarusian troops is planned for Sept. 14-20. Some 13,000 troops are expected to take part in the drills, participating parties say.
At the same time, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov suggested that the actual number of participants could amount up to 240,000 personnel.
Read alsoRussia may launch aggression during Zapad 2017 drills under pretext of protecting Russian speakers – Gen. MuzhenkoUkraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak believes that Zapad 2017 can be used as a cover-up for Russia to launch aggression against Ukraine or any European country that shares a common border with the Russian Federation.
Meanwhile, Russian Ministry of Defense assures that within the framework of their "anti-terrorist" exercises, they will not be preparing a springboard for the invasion of Ukraine.