The US and NATO have gradually ramped up their activities along Russia’s western borders over the past few years and tensions continue to grow, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said. The minister made the remarks during a meeting of the National Defense Management Center in Moscow on Friday.
Apart from intensifying strategic activities, the US-led NATO bloc has also gradually increased training exercises near Russia’s borders, Shoigu pointed out. He noted that currently a series of exercises called the ‘Defender of Europe’ is being conducted involving up to 40,000 military personnel from 30 countries of the bloc. Redeployment of a full-fledged division force from the US to Europe has become the main feature of the drills, he added.
“Over the past eight years, the intensity of US strategic bomber flights in Europe has increased some 15 times,” Shoigu stated. “Visits of American ships armed with guided missiles to the Baltic Sea have become a systematic occurrence. This year alone, they have visited suspected cruise missile launch zones off the coast of Kaliningrad Region six times already. Since 2016, 24 such events have been detected.”