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Putin To Observe Zapad 2017 Drills From Russia; Lukashenka Staying In Belarus


Helicopters and an armored vehicle are seen during the Zapad 2017 war games at an undisclosed location on September 14.

President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Russia’s Leningrad region on September 18 to watch Zapad 2017, Russia’s joint military exercises with Belarus.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the announcement on September 15, saying Putin would watch “strategic drills” from a command post in the Leningrad region.

Meanwhile, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s spokeswoman has denied reports that Lukashenka originally intended to observe the joint exercises from Russian territory but had changed his mind.

Presidential spokeswoman Natallya Eismont told Belarus's state-run BelTA news agency on September 15 that Lukashenka “was not formally invited to watch the drill in Russia” and would, instead, observe the drills from Belarus.

“It is too early to talk about the concrete date and destination of his trip,” Eismont said.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and BelTA
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