Russia to be invited to observe Defender-Europe 2020 exercises

Polish Defence Ministry announced that member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), including the Russian Federation, will be invited to observe part of Defender-Europe 2020 military exercises in Poland.

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“The Russian Federation, just like other member states of OSCE will receive an invitation to observe a part of Defender-Europe 2020 exercises, which is to take place on the Polish territory,” the ministry announced.

The invitation for the observers will be issued by April 1, not later than 42 days before the date of the observation, when the number of soldiers taking part exceeds 13,000. The Vienna Document from 2011 states that in such a situation, the observers from other OSCE countries have to be invited.

“The agenda of observations is being discussed between Poland and the US. The details will be included in the invitation for the observers,” the ministry announced.

“There is no preferential treatment of any country. The invitations are sent to all member states and each country makes its own decision about sending observers,” the statement of the ministry reads.

The Defender-Europe 2020 exercises are organised by the Command of the US Army Europe. This is the largest operation of deployment of the American forces to Europe in over 25 years. The purpose of the exercises is to check the strategic readiness of the US, its allies and NATO partners to deploy troops and act during a crisis.

Around 20,000 American soldiers will be transported to Europe during the exercises, another 9,000 are already stationed in Europe. A total of 37,000 troopers from 18 countries will take part in the exercises.