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Belarus president: Russian forces won’t stay after war games

September 20, 2017
Belarusian and Russian troops take part in the Zapad (West) 2017 Russia-Belarus military exercises at the Borisovsky range in Borisov, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Belarusian and Russian troops take part in the Zapad (West) 2017 Russia-Belarus military exercises at the Borisovsky range in Borisov, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — On the last day of joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises that rattled the countries’ neighbors, the president of Belarus says all Russian forces will leave his country when the war games are over.

Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states all expressed worry that the weeklong exercises could foretell Russian offensives on their territory and that Russian troops would remain in Belarus.

“Let’s wait to see what they will say after all the armed forces — Russia’s and ours — appear at their regular deployment places,” President Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday.

The war games in Russia and Belarus included launching cruise missiles, and news reports said a Russian helicopter accidentally fired on spectators.

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