May 4, 2016 / 12:25 PM / 4 years ago

Russia says will respond to NATO deployment in Poland, Baltics

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu attend a wreath laying ceremony to mark the Defender of the Fatherland Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin wall in central Moscow, Russia, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will be forced to take retaliatory measures if NATO deploys four extra battalions in Poland and the Baltic states, Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying on Wednesday.

“This would be a very dangerous build-up of armed forces pretty close to our borders,” Andrei Kelin, a department head at the ministry, said. “I am afraid this would require certain retaliatory measures, which the Russian Defence Ministry is already talking about.”

Russia will form three new military divisions to counter what it believes is the growing strength of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) near its borders, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Wednesday.

Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov

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