OREANDA-NEWS. The Russian Federation conducted joint combat exercises with Belarus, which caused alarm among neighboring countries.

The exercises were held at a training ground in the Nizhny Novgorod region, 450 kilometers east of Moscow. According to the Ministry of Defense, they were directed to the 1st use in combat conditions of two automatic combat crews equipped with machine guns and grenade launchers.

The Zapad (West)-2021 exercise, conducted at several sites in the Russian Federation and Belarus, together involved approximately 200,000 military personnel.

The authorities of neighboring countries such as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on Monday, September 13, expressed their concern about the combat maneuvers, noting that they are being carried out against the background of the aggravation of tensions between the West and Belarus. According to them, Belarus seeks to shake the peaceful existence of border states by encouraging migrants from the Middle East and Africa to arrive, and then allegedly directing them to its borders with the states of the European Union.

Dmitry Peskov, deputy head of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, said that the EU states have no reason to worry, because “joint military exercises are a systematic process."