The goal of Zapad 2017, a large-scale military exercise that Russia and Belarus will hold later this month, is "to frighten us", Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who will be visiting the United States during the drills, said on Friday.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

"Let's not get frightened, because this is what the goal of the Zapad exercise is: to frighten us, to break our will to defend ourselves so that we are paralyzed and can do nothing in our state," Grybauskaitė said at a news conference when asked about her response to criticism from some politicians over the timing of the visit.

"The recommendations of all the relevant structures are that the level of security is unchanged, and (this is) an opportunity to go the United Nations and to address two hundred nations from its rostrum to draw attention to the problems of our region today when the whole world thinks only about conflicts with North Korea," she said, commenting on the aim of her visit.

According to the president, this will be an opportunity to say that "the aggressor -- no matter where it is, whether it is in North Korea or it is our neighbor, must not and cannot do whatever it wants".

"Aggressive actions against one's neighbors, wars and seizures of territories have no justification and will always be disgraceful and deplorable. I am going to say this to the whole world," she said.

Russia and Belarus will hold the joint exercise on Sept. 14 to 20. Moscow says that the war games will involve fewer than 13, 000 troops, but Western officials believe that around 100,000 soldiers may take part.

Defense Minister: there's no threat to Belarus from West

As Belarus voices plans to take countermeasures in response to the deployment of US troops in...

Amendment on spy swap pushes its way through parliament

The Seimas of Lithuania on Tuesday gave its initial backing to an amendment to the country's Penal...

Karbauskis: no longer clear if ruling block has majority

As a bid to remove Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis failed on Tuesday, Ramunas...

Parliament speaker survives no-confidence vote

Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis has survived a second no-confidence vote as...

Hodges: troops' arrival shows Lithuania can trust US despite 'mistake' in Syria

The deployment of a US battalion to Lithuania sends the message that Lithuanians can rely on...