Russia set to significantly strengthen military presence near its western borders; NATO reacts.

REUTERS

REUTERS

The Russian Federation's Defense Ministry plans to create about 20 new military units and formations near its western borders.

This was stated by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to the Russian Defense Ministry's website.

The minister says the situation in the Western strategic direction is characterized by an increase in military threats.

Over the past seven years, the intensity of flights of the U.S. Air Force's strategic bomber aviation in Europe has grown 14 times. NATO ships with guided missile weapons systematically enter the Baltic Sea.

"At the same time, the U.S. and NATO continue to expand the scope of operational and combat training near our borders," Shoigu said.

What is more, the number of exercises has increased by 1.5 times in recent years, he said.

"The actions of our Western counterparts are destroying the security system in the world and forcing us to take adequate countermeasures. We are constantly improving the combat composition of the troops. By the end of the year, about 20 formations and military units will be formed in the Western Military District," he said.

He noted that organizational measures are synchronized with the supply of modern weapons and military equipment. This year, it is planned to supply about 2,000 weapons to the troops of the district.

NATO's response

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has responded to Russia's plans to create about 20 new military units and formations near the western borders.

He announced this at a press conference on Monday, May 31, on pending meetings of NATO Foreign and Defense Ministers in Brussels on June 1, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

"And on Russia, what we see is a pattern of Russian behavior, where Russia over the last years has invested heavily in new, modern military capabilities, from conventional to nuclear weapons systems. But not only that. Russia has been willing to use military force against neighbors, in Georgia, in Ukraine, increasing, continuing to destabilize Donbas and eastern Ukraine, and illegally annexing Crimea," Stoltenberg said. "And then we've seen more Russian military presence in the far north in the Barents Sea, in the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad, the Black Sea, and also down to the Mediterranean and the Middle East."

Translation: Akulenko Olena

Unian

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