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Russia to set up 12 new bases to counter NATO expansion

Moscow's move comes after Finland and Sweden inch closer to getting admitted as members of NATO after simultaneously handing their official letters of application to join the alliance on Wednesday (Images courtesy: Kremlin.ru)

Russia has decided to bolster its western borders by creating 12 new military units and subunits in its Western Military District by the end of the year to counter the North Atlantic Alliance expansion which has brought the "Collective West" on its doorstep.

As he announced the "complete liberation" of the territory of Azovstal and Mariupol from "Ukrainian nationalists" on Friday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu gave an indication of his planning for the long haul on the western frontiers.

Moscow's move comes at a time when Finland and Sweden inch closer to getting admitted as members of NATO after simultaneously handing their official letters of application to join the alliance on Wednesday.


At a meeting of the Russian Defence Ministry on Friday, Shoigu said that the intensity of US strategic aviation flights in Europe has increased 15 times and American ships have entered the Baltic Sea on a regular basis.

"We are taking adequate countermeasures. Under these conditions, we are actively improving the combat composition of the troops. By the end of the year, 12 military units and subunits will be formed in the Western Military District," Shoigu was quoted as saying by Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com earlier, analysts believe Russia's concerns are legitimate as there is a possibility of forces under NATO command positioned right at its 1300 km border with Finland in future.  

Saint Petersburg, the city on the shore of the Gulf of Finland which also was the capital of the Russian empire for two centuries, is only 435 km away from the Finnish–Russian border.

On Monday, during a meeting of leaders of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member countries in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin had stated how the NATO expansion could cause serious damage to maintaining stability and security in the Northern European region.

"In addition to this endless expansionary policy, the North Atlantic Alliance is also going beyond its geographic destination – beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, is trying to get more and more actively involved in international issues and control and influence the international situation in terms of security, and not in the best way, in other regions of the world. This certainly requires additional attention on our part," Putin had told the gathering.

Map courtesy: Maps-Russia.com

Russia has for long been highlighting the increasing movement of US and NATO troops close to its borders, particularly in the Black Sea and the Baltic region.  

Last year, while visiting the Russian Northern Fleet base Severomorsk, Shoigu had accused the US of doubling its air reconnaissance near Russian borders, insisting that the maneuvers carried out by the North Atlantic Alliance have a "clear anti-Russian orientation".

Russia's Arctic military bases north of Leningrad also include several locations in Murmansk and on the Kola Peninsula.

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