Russia announced the establishment of a western military base to deal with NATO
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on May 20 that Moscow would establish new military bases in the western part of the country to cope with NATO’s expansion, according to AFP. “By the end of this year, 12 army units and divisions will be established in the Western Military District,” he said.
The army is expected to receive more than 2,000 units of military equipment and weapons, the Russian minister added.
Minister Shoigu earlier said that Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO contributes to increased military threats near Russia’s western border and that the country is working on “appropriate countermeasures”.
In a speech, Shoigu also mentioned that the US has increased flights of strategic bombers in recent years, sent warships to the Baltic Sea and increased exercises in the region with NATO partners.
Finland and Sweden officially applied to join the Western defense alliance NATO on May 18, after months of expressing intentions and internal deliberations. This is a shift from these countries’ decades-old policy of no military alliances.
While there are many countries in favor of Sweden and Finland joining their Nordic neighbors in NATO, the accession process could take months or be blocked altogether. Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, opposes joining the two countries, raising concerns about “terrorist organizations” in Scandinavia.
Russia, which opposes NATO expansion, considers it a security risk. However, on May 16, President Vladimir Putin said that Finland and Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization poses no threat to Russia, which Moscow will respond if this alliance. strengthen military infrastructure here.
In another development, Russian company Gazprom has announced to stop gas supplies to Finland, according to Finnish gas company Gasum.
Russia began sending troops to Ukraine to launch a military operation on February 24, amid protests against Kiev’s accession to NATO. The move caused shock waves around the world, with Western countries imposing a series of economic sanctions on Russia and sending weapons to Ukraine.
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