10:46 GMT +321 April 2018
Listen Live
    NATO's multinational battalion in Poland. (File)

    Number of NATO Troops Near Russian Borders Tripled Since 2012 - Defense Minister

    © Sputnik / Stringer
    Russia
    Get short URL
    131419

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday that NATO has doubled the number of its military drills since 2012 in the vicinity of Russia's borders, adding that Moscow is scrutinizing the exercises.

    Speaking at the final meeting of the Defense Ministry's board, Sergei Shoigu said that the US missile defense system in Europe has been brought to the level of "initial operational readiness." The number of the bloc's servicemen deployed near Russian borders has grown from 10 to 40 thousand in three years, he added.

    While the bloc conducted 282 military exercises near Russia's borders in 2014, in 2017 the number of drills grew to 548.

    He also said that the NATO member-states have intensified their surveillance operations near Russia. "We resolutely suppress any attempts to violate the Russian air and sea borders," the Minister of Defense added.

    READ MORE: Moscow Regrets Over Some States' Voting Against Anti-Nazism UN Resolution

    Shoigu has added that the Russian military is determined to keep the pace of modernizing hardware and acquiring new equipment next year. The armed forces will receive 10 S-400 missile systems and put in service 11 Yars missile systems. 

    "The share of modern weapons in the Russian army should grow to 61 percent by the end of 2018, including 82 percent in the strategic nuclear forces, 46 percent in the land forces, 74 percent in the aerospace forces, 55 percent in the navy."

    NATO-Russia relations deteriorated in 2014 when the alliance decided to suspend cooperation with Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis that was triggered by the coup in Kiev.

    Related:

    What's Behind NATO's Decision to Accept Turkey's Russian S-400 Purchase
    Finns Disenchanted With NATO, Enamored By EU
    Journalist: US Media Fret Over Libyan Slave Markets, Ignore NATO’s Culpability
    Tags:
    exercises, NATO, Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu, United States, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment