Russia plans to establish 12 new military bases along the western region of Russia as a response to Sweden and Finland applying to join NATO. The announcement was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu last Friday, saying that the new facilities will be up and running “by the end of the year.”

Shoigu said that “12 military bases and units will be deployed in the Western Military District,” telling senior ministry and military officials in attendance that there was increasing “growth of military threats on Russia’s borders.”

In his address, the minister added that the Russian army is also expecting to receive over two thousand troops, equipment and arms.

The news follows the announcement of Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO, which Russia sees as its major security threat in Europe. The move comes as a major policy shift from the two Nordic countries that have adopted military non-alignment for decades.