Russia will boost its military forces near its borders with NATO states, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said as he lashed out at the US and its allies for providing support to Ukraine.
(Bloomberg) — Russia will boost its military forces near its borders with NATO states, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said as he lashed out at the US and its allies for providing support to Ukraine.
Shoigu told a meeting of defense officials Wednesday that “strengthening of troop formations” on Russia’s western borders was necessary in response to what he said was a buildup of forces by North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries.
He singled out the “militarization of Poland” and said the entry of Finland and Sweden to NATO membership was “seriously destabiliziing” for Russia’s security. Taking into account the armed forces of eastern European countries, about 360,000 service people are stationed in the immediate vicinity of the borders of Russia and its ally Belarus, he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its 18th month, has triggered Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II and reinvigorated NATO, as members of the defense alliance send billions of dollars in weapons to help the government in Kyiv defend itself. Finland and Sweden abandoned decades of neutrality to seek NATO membership in response.
Shoigu complained that deliveries of arms to Ukraine by the US and its allies “creates serious risks of further escalation of the conflict.” He didn’t acknowledge that Russia had started the war.
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