Russia says NATO's drills near its borders raise concern

AP , Wednesday 21 Jun 2017

NATO troops
Troops take part in a multinational NATO maritime exercise BALTOPS in the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the resolve of allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region near Ustka, Poland June 17, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Russia's defense minister says the security situation near the nation's borders has worsened because of NATO's activities.

Sergei Shoigu, speaking Wednesday on a trip to Russia's westernmost Kaliningrad region, pointed at the alliance's exercise in the Baltics as an example of

NATO's growing presence in the area.

Shoigu added that the large-scale drills reflect NATO's "anti-Russian course."

He said the military will form 20 new units along its western frontiers by the year's end. Later this year, Russia and Belarus will hold the West-2017 war games.

Russian state TV showed the footage of a NATO F-16 fighter jet shadowing Shoigu's plane as it was approaching Kaliningrad. A Russian Su-27 fighter then edged in between the minister's plane and NATO's jet to ward it off.

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