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Russia Says It's Increasing Military Presence On Western Borders

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

Russia is increasing its military capabilities on its western border in response to NATO building up its forces, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on November 2.

Russia and its ally Belarus must increase defenses as "the United States and other NATO members actively build up their offensive potential," Shoigu told high-ranking military officials in Minsk.

NATO's "actions are undermining strategic stability and are forcing Russia to take countermeasures of a defensive nature," he said. "Hotbeds of tension have moved close to our borders."

NATO, in response to increased Russian military moves, wants to send 4,000 soldiers to the Baltic states, with Lithuania leading the core of the additional group starting next year.

Shoigu did not specify any figures in his speech. According to previous information, Russia wants to increase the number of troops along its western border by about 30,000.

Based on reporting by dpa, Interfax, and TASS

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