Russia will create new military divisions due to constant NATO drills

Russian Ground Forces Commander General Oleg Salyukov stated that Moscow plans to form the divisions in the western and central regions of the country in 2016.

Salyukov. said “Formation of these divisions is a measure to respond to the increase in intensity of exercises among NATO member countries that’s been seen recently,” 

Salyukov also made it clear that the Russian military will take part in seven international drills this year.

He said the military exercises, including a joint Russia-Pakistani drill as well as a Russian-Vietnamese exercise, will be held in “the context of interaction with our foreign partners in 2016.”

Russia has long considered the expansion of NATO toward its borders a threat.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a defense strategy document that declared NATO a threat to the country’s national security.

Putin signed the document in response to a rising military presence by NATO countries in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

The Western military coalition has increased its troop and equipment presence in Poland and the Baltic nations in order to deter perceived Russian threats. Montenegro, a former Soviet bloc country, has been invited to join NATO.

Relations between Russia and NATO specially strained after Crimea integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16, 2014.