MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - The NATO summit in Wales taking place this week will focus on measures to increase the combat readiness of its troops, including the construction of new military bases in Eastern Europe, a senior Russian security official said Tuesday.
“Indeed, issues of increasing the combat readiness of the bloc’s allied forces will be considered during the September 4-5 NATO summit in Wales,” Mikhail Popov, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, told RIA Novosti in an interview.
“[NATO plans to] stir up its military activities, take measures on providing long-term presence of NATO military units in Eastern Europe,” Popov said in response to questions on the issues that will be discussed at the upcoming summit.
“The scope and intensity of rapid response and combat training are expected to be increased. The combat readiness of the NATO rapid response forces is to be increased through setting up new military bases in Eastern Europe,” the official added.
He also noted that NATO leaders would discuss measures “to enhance NATO military activities” and “ensure the long-term presence of NATO military formations in Eastern Europe.”
“It’s clear to everyone against whom these measures are directed,” Popov said.
NATO began to step up its military presence on Russia’s borders since Crimea broke away from Kiev to join Russia following a referendum held in March. The bloc has strengthened its naval presence in the Black Sea and has intensified air patrols in the airspace of the Baltic countries. Also, Washington sent four airborne units to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in April and reportedly plans to send additional 600 troops equipped with tanks and other hardware in the fall.