Baltic states demand military drill info from Belarus

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The Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have jointly asked Belarus to provide details of the 'Union Resolve-2022' (Союзная решимость-2022 ) military exercises currently taking place on its territory. 

The Baltic States have approached the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to prompt Belarus to provide details of the drills under Chapter 3 of the OSCE Vienna Document on Risk Reduction. This mechanism allows OSCE participating States to request information from other States on unusual, unplanned and significant activities of military forces outside their usual peacetime locations that are of security concern.

The Union Resolve-2022 exercise has not been announced in advance, but a large number of troops and military equipment from both Russia and Belarus are reportedly involved.

"Given the growing tensions, Russia's aggressive rhetoric and the concentration of forces near Ukraine's borders, this level of military training without oppression against OSCE participating States is undermining security in the region and arms control mechanisms," said a release from the Latvian Ministry of Defense.

"Explaining their concerns about the scope and non-transparency of the training, the Baltic States require Belarus to provide additional information on the training, including infantry, forces, type, affiliation, number of armaments, data on the return of military units to peacetime, and calls for transparency," the statement said, adding that OSCE observers should also be allowed to monitor the exercises.

Following a request for information, Belarus has 48 hours to respond in accordance with the Vienna Document. If a response is not forthcoming or is deemed unsatisfactory, a special meeting may be convened at the OSCE Headquarters in Vienna. 

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