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Russia to strengthen Western flank in response to potential NATO expansion

Moscow, Russia | Xinhua |  Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that Russia would create 12 new military units in its Western Military District in response to increased military activity of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the potential accession of Finland and Sweden.

“The United States and NATO are stepping up operational and combat training near our borders,” Shoigu said during a meeting of the Defense Ministry Board.

“In addition, our closest neighbours Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO,” he added.

Shoigu said Russia would “adopt adequate countermeasures” under the current circumstances by “improving the combat composition of troops” and forming 12 military units in the Western Military District by the end of the year.

The armed forces would also be supplied with modern weapons and military equipment, he added. ■

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