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Russian Defense Minister Says Increased Drills Not 'Threat' To West

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said recent large-scale military exercises are not intended as a "threat" to the West.

Recent large-scale Russian military exercises are not intended to threaten or send a signal to the West or other countries, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on October 12.

"The large-scale operational and combat training measures of our Armed Forces are not signals to anyone, let alone threats. They are a necessary condition for ensuring the combat readiness of any country's military organization," Shoigu said at a meeting on the Caucasus 2016 drills conducted last month.

"We have recently heard many reproaches from our Western partners, who are concerned about the level of combat readiness and combat potential of our armed forces, which increased in the past few years. Attempts are being made to present routine measures of our operative and combat training as 'threatening' signals to the neighboring countries. There are talks about a military threat, a new cold war, another arms race going on," the minister said.

"No doubt, it's not so. Our armed forces should guarantee the country's security," he added.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax