Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, commander of the United States Army Europe, has urged Russia to ensure transparency during the Zapad 2017 military exercise to be held near Lithuania's border in September.
Ben Hodges
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

In his words, this should help ease the concerns over the training.

Speaking to journalists at the Lithuanian Defence Ministry on Wednesday morning, Hodges said Russia should invite a larger number of observers and media representatives to the exercise.

"I know there is an anxiety about the Russian exercise Zapad," Hodges said. "I would call on the Russians to lower the anxiety through transparency. Russians have to invite media to see the exercise in the way West, NATO invites media to observe everything we do."

"I would call on the Russians to invite media, invite observers not than just a minimum, required in Vienna protocol, but in a spirit of transparency and stability," he added.

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