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MOSCOW (Reuters) - General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia's general staff, on Thursday used a meeting with General Petr Pavel, the chairman of the NATO military committee, to reassure him about upcoming Russian war games, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Zapad-2017 war games this month have stirred unease in some countries because Russian troops and military hardware will be training inside Belarus, a Russian ally which borders Ukraine as well as NATO member states Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

Interfax said Gerasimov, during a meeting in Azerbaijan, had told Pavel that the war games were purely defensive in nature, not aimed at any third countries, and designed to help secure the security of Belarus.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Reuters