News ID: 321752
Published: 0243 GMT May 20, 2022

Russia says it will beef up forces near western border

Russia says it will beef up forces near western border

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday that moves by Finland and Sweden to join NATO were part of an increase in military threats near Russia's western borders, and it was taking "adequate countermeasures".

In a speech, Shoigu also said the United States had stepped up strategic bomber flights in recent years, sent warships to the Baltic Sea and intensified training exercises in the region with its NATO partners, Reuters reported.

He said Russia would respond by forming 12 units and divisions in its western military district, and that it was working to improve the combat strength of its troops.

"Tension continues to grow in the zone of responsibility of the Western Military District. We are taking adequate countermeasures," Shoigu said.

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the Western military alliance NATO on Wednesday.

President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Swedish and Finnish NATO membership posed no threat to Russia, but cautioned that Moscow would respond if the alliance boosted military infrastructure in the two countries.


US massive aid

Meanwhile, the US Senate on Thursday approved more than $40 billion in new aid for Ukraine on a bipartisan 86 to 11 vote, amid a Russian “special military operation” there.

The package is significantly larger than the $33 billion aid package US President Joe Biden requested last month, Bloomberg reported.



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