UK Foreign Office: Russia's Vostok Drills Show Moscow's Aggressive Nature
LONDON (Sputnik) - Russia's latest large-scale Vostok-2018 military drills showed that Moscow has become "more assertive" in its military presence, UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations Tariq Ahmad said on Wednesday in a letter obtained by Sputnik.
"All nations have the right to exercise their armed forces, but it is essential that this is done in a transparent and predictable manner. VOSTOK demonstrates Russia's focus on exercising large-scale conflict. It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time: a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its military capability and presence. The UK and our Allies are observing the exercise closely," Ahmad wrote in the letter, responding to a parliamentary request to assess the Vostok drills and its influence on the West's interests.
The Vostok-2018 drills concluded on Monday and were the largest exercise held in Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The exercises involved nearly 300,000 servicemen, 36,000 vehicles, up to 80 ships and support vessels, and over a thousand aircraft. The drills have gained an international status, with troops from China and Mongolia taking part in one of the stages.
Russia has repeatedly said that the Vostok drills were not directed against NATO states and did not affect their security as the exercises were held far from the NATO states.
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