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Russia's Western Military District to get 2,000 pieces of military hardware 2016 — Shoigu

June 29, 15:09 UTC+3 KUBINKA
NATO has deployed about 1,200 pieces of combat hardware in Eastern Europe, including over 30 aircraft and more than 1,000 servicemen
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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

KUBINKA /Moscow Region/, June 29. /TASS/. More than 2,000 pieces of newly-manufactured or upgraded military equipment will be supplied to the Western military district this year, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

He explained that NATO’s military activity was forcing Russia to take measures to neutralize potential threats in the Western military district.

"Great attention is paid to supplying the district’s units with advanced armaments and special equipment. This year the Western Military District will get more than 2,000 pieces of newly-made and upgraded military equipment," Shoigu said.

This year more than 10,000 candidates have been selected for contract service. The construction and renovation of ten military garrisons for military servicemen and their families have been completed.

Shoigu said that during the winter training period the district held nearly 300 exercises to make use of the experience gained by the Russian air group in Syria.

NATO’s military preparations near Russian border double

According to the minister, the intensity of NATO’s military preparations near Russian borders has more than doubled.

"The intensity of preparatory activities by NATO forces near Russian borders has more than doubled," Shoigu said without mentioning the period he was referring to.

He also recalled that naval ships of the United States and other member-countries of the alliance made regular visits to the Black and Baltic seas.

The minister added that  NATO has deployed about 1,200 pieces of combat hardware in Eastern Europe, including over 30 aircraft and more than 1,000 servicemen.

"Currently, up to 30 combat planes, about 1,200 pieces of combat hardware are based on the territory of East European states on a rotating basis, and also over a thousand of servicemen from NATO’s West European countries and the United States are deployed there," Shoigu said.

"Works are in progress to upgrade and adjust to NATO standards a number of military facilities in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic countries," Shoigu said.

"Of particular concern is the deployment of US missile defense system components in Eastern Europe," the official noted.

He recalled that on May 12 the Aegis Ashore complex went operational in Romania.

"Its launchers may be used for deploying tomahawk cruise missiles. Another such facility is under construction in Poland," he said.

He explained that NATO’s military activity was forcing Russia to take measures to neutralize potential threats.

European stability and Russia's response

The minister noted NATO’s buildup undermines strategic stability in Europe and forces Russia to take response measures.

According to him, NATO’s intensified military activity at the Russian borders, the building of military infrastructure in Eastern Europe and deployment of elements of the US missile defense system there make Russia take response measures.

"Such actions of the Western colleagues lead to undermining strategic stability in Europe and prompt us to take response measures, first of all in the Western strategic area," Shoigu said.

According to him, strategic deterrence actions are being taken in the Western Military District to neutralize potential threats.

Summit in Warsaw

According to the minister, NATO’s activity may grow after the alliance’s summit in Warsaw.

"We do not rule out that the scale of NATO’s military presence and activity of the armed forces near the Russian borders may significantly increase after the summit in Warsaw," Shoigu said.

NATO is expected to make final decision on deploying four multinational battalions in the Baltic States and Poland at the summit in Warsaw scheduled for July 8-9.

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