Putin: Russia Must Build Up Defenses In View Of NATO Moves

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with hight level officers and heads of defense industry enterprises in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday emphasized the need to strengthen the country's air defenses in the face of NATO's moves. (Evgeniy Paulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized the need to strengthen the country’s air defenses amid NATO’s military activities near Russia’s borders.

Speaking Monday during a meeting with military officials and arms makers in the southern Russian city of Sochi, Putin specificially noted the deployment of NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense components in Eastern Europe and increasingly frequent missions by NATO ships near Russian waters in the Baltic and Black Seas.

Russia has bristled at the deployment of U.S. and other NATO ships near its waters. Tensions between Moscow and the West have sunk to post-Cold War lows after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, its support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine and other irritants.


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