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Russia: MoD to boost forces in the west and consider bases in the east - Shoigu01:03

Russia: MoD to boost forces in the west and consider bases in the east - Shoigu

Russian Federation, Moscow
March 25, 2016 at 14:29 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russia is looking to boost its military presence in both the far east and far west of the country, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of senior Russian Defence Ministry officials in Moscow on Friday.

Shoigu said NATO’s increased presence in Europe “makes us worry. We have to react to it;” therefore the “combat strength of the Western Military District is constantly being improved," he stated. Shoigu reported that “throughout 2015 we continued the formation of military units, including two divisions" on Russia's western flank.

The east will see a similar strengthening. "Sailors of the Pacific Fleet will head for a three-month expedition to the islands of the Greater Kuril Ridge," Shoigu said. The main goal, the defence minister said, “is to explore the possibilities of the long-term basing of the Pacific Fleet forces."

The South Kuril Islands were acquired by the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War and Japan still disputes their sovereignty.

The latest NATO drills were recently started in a number of European countries, including the Baltic states, that have borders with Russia. They will reportedly run until the end of March.

Russia: MoD to boost forces in the west and consider bases in the east - Shoigu01:03
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Russia is looking to boost its military presence in both the far east and far west of the country, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of senior Russian Defence Ministry officials in Moscow on Friday.

Shoigu said NATO’s increased presence in Europe “makes us worry. We have to react to it;” therefore the “combat strength of the Western Military District is constantly being improved," he stated. Shoigu reported that “throughout 2015 we continued the formation of military units, including two divisions" on Russia's western flank.

The east will see a similar strengthening. "Sailors of the Pacific Fleet will head for a three-month expedition to the islands of the Greater Kuril Ridge," Shoigu said. The main goal, the defence minister said, “is to explore the possibilities of the long-term basing of the Pacific Fleet forces."

The South Kuril Islands were acquired by the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War and Japan still disputes their sovereignty.

The latest NATO drills were recently started in a number of European countries, including the Baltic states, that have borders with Russia. They will reportedly run until the end of March.

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