MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia deployed a number of troops in the military exercise in Kaliningrad Region comparable to the number of NATO drill participants in the Baltic region, Russia’s Ministry of Defense reported Wednesday.
“The forces and equipment that Russia’s Ministry of Defense involved in Kaliningrad Region drills is comparable to the number of soldiers, weapons and equipment deployed by NATO member countries in their border exercises,” the ministry’s press release reads.
Russia’s Baltic Fleet is taking part in the exercises together with the Air Force and paratroopers. The exercises are taking place at the same time as the NATO international Saber Strike and Baltops drills. NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen earlier connected the Russian exercise with the alliance’s measures to beef up their defense.
Twenty-four warships and other vessels are providing security for the exercises. Currently, participants in the Russian drill are completing their relocation and starting to prepare for joint activities.
Marines are to equip field command centers and fortifications, work on tactical activities to defend the coast from marines landing by sea, and train to block and eliminate illegal military groups.
After the situation in Ukraine escalated, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu described NATO troops increased activities in Eastern Europe near Russian borders as “unprecedented.”
Recently, US President Barack Obama confirmed the US intends to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe and guarantee security to its non-NATO allies.