Russian officials said Wednesday that Moscow will create three new divisions of about 10,000 soldiers each to counter NATO’s planned troop buildup in Eastern Europe.
“The Defense Ministry is taking a series of measures to counter the expansion of NATO forces in direct proximity to the Russian border,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
Shoigu said the new Russian divisions would be formed by the end of the year. Reuters, citing Russian media, reported that the Russian divisions would include about 10,000 soldiers each.
Western officials told The Wall Street Journal last week that NATO is planning to send about 4,000 troops to Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance’s planned buildup in the Baltics wouldn’t have happened if Russia didn’t insert itself into the Ukraine conflict in 2014. Stoltenberg said NATO’s deployment was a reaction to Russian aggression.
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