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NATO increases number of exercises near Russia’s borders by half — Defense Ministry

The number has grown from 90-95 to 150 a year
NATO drills in Ukraine's western Lviv region EPA/TASS/MYKOLA TYS
NATO drills in Ukraine's western Lviv region

MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. NATO has increased the number of military exercises near Russia’s borders from 90-95 to 150 per year, the number of reconnaissance aviation flights has grown nine times, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters.

"In 2012 and 2013 NATO conducted on the average nearly 90-95 exercises near Russia’s borders. Now they conduct about 150 exercises," the spokesman said. "There’s been a sharp increase in [reconnaissance aviation] flights - their number grew nine times."

He also noted that the number of NATO patrol missions had grown substantially.

In April, chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov pointed to the sharp increase in NATO’s military activities near the Russian borders. He said at the time that the number of NATO exercises had grown about 1,8 times last year compared to the previous year. The intensity of flights by the tactical and reconnaissance aviation along the Russian borders doubled, Gerasimov noted, and the number of early radar warning flights grew nine times.