Number of States 'Building Up Military Presence' Near Russian Borders Increases
16:37 26.07.2017(updated 16:39 26.07.2017)
A number of foreign states are stepping up their military presence near Russia's borders citing the alleged threat of Russian actions in the Middle East and South Caucasus regions, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is forced to increase the combat capabilities of the Southern Military District and take symmetrical measures to neutralize threats to national security on its southern borders, Shoigu said.
"Under these circumstances, Russia is forced to take symmetric measures to neutralize emerging threats to its national security, conduct strategic deterrence measures, and increase the combat capabilities of the Southern Military District."
"Our active efforts to stabilize the situation in the Middle East and maintain peace in Transcaucasia are considered by some countries as a threat to their national and coalition interests," Shoigu said at a meeting with senior military commanders in Moscow.
"Aiming to block Russia's participation in solving global and regional problems, a number of states do not abandon attempts to use military force to achieve geopolitical goals and are building up a military presence near the Russian borders," the minister stressed.
According to Shoigu, 16 US and British tactical aircraft have been permanently stationed in Romania since April. The US planes alone have carried out more than 130 reconnaissance flights at Russia's southern borders since the beginning of 2017.
In addition, large-scale NATO exercises have been recently held in the western part of the Black Sea, in which more than 25,000 servicemen from 22 countries have taken part.
Moscow has repeatedly criticized the increased presence of the alliance's troops and military facilities near the Russian border. Moscow has said Russia had never planned and does not plan to attack any NATO member.
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