Moscow (IP)- Russia says it needs to develop its armed forces in defiance of "increased NATO activity," amid weeks of heightening tensions between Moscow and Ukraine.

Iran PressEurope: "The difficult military and political situation in the world and the increased activity of NATO countries near the Russian borders require further quality development of the armed forces," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in televised remarks on Wednesday. 

Shoigu said that the country's armed forces' priorities are "increasing their effectiveness, maintaining the combat readiness of nuclear forces and strengthening the potential of non-nuclear deterrent forces." 

In separate remarks on Tuesday, the defense minister said the military had noted a significant increase in activity by US strategic bombers, which he said had carried out 30 flights close to Russia this month. 

Russia also accuses the United States, NATO, and Ukraine of provocative and irresponsible behavior, amid Kyiv's military build-up near the border with Russia. 


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