Russia will continue to increase and strengthen its army stationed in the Western Military District near the borders of the NATO European members, said the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoygu, at the Defense Ministry meeting on Wednesday.
Four new regiments will be formed in the Western Military District in accordance with the approved military activities plan for 2019.
This is an anti-aircraft missile regiment of mobile reserve, designed to increase the effectiveness of the shielding of military and government facilities in the Baltic operation line by 40%, as well as two regiments of the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army and a tank regiment within the Russian Baltic Fleet.
In addition, the ministry plans to create a district’s technical missile base, a coastal missile division of the Russian Baltic Fleet, and complete the military camps' construction for the newly formed 3rd and 144th motorized rifle divisions of the 20th Army.
According to Shoygu, Western Military District with already operational 23 battalion tactical groups, will receive 1,272 weapons and special equipment.
“NATO countries continue to develop a forward-based system in the Baltic States, Eastern and Southern Europe. In this situation, we are forced to respond adequately, combining strategic deterrence measures with a systematic increase in the combat capabilities of the formations and military units,” said Shoygu.
More than 200 crews from 13 countries of the North Atlantic Alliance "have gained skills flying over the territory of the Baltic States and the Baltic Sea,” and the scale and intensity of the exercises in which a non-NATO members Ukraine and Georgia are increasingly involved more than doubled, stated Shoygu.
According to the minister, the international situation is currently "characterized by increased competition between the world centers of power, the growth of uncertainty factors, outbursts of instability and violence in different regions of the planet", as well as an increase in conflict potential in areas of Russia's traditional interests.
At the end of the year, two more regiments will be formed in the Southern Military District. There will also be a missile brigade, a missile division of the coastal missile complex Ball, and a mobilization deployment center.
A new combined aviation division and an anti-aircraft missile brigade will be formed in the Eastern Military District.