GETTY/ REUTERSThe US is prepared to double warplanes in Lithuania to ward off threat of Russia
NATO will step up its defence after Russia announced it will carry out military Zapad-2017 drills in Belarus, a central European nations that borders three critical defence allies.
The escalation comes as the Russian President stokes tensions on NATO’s doorstep while continuing to intimidate Baltic nations and NATO allies Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said: “During the Zapad drills, more US servicemen, military equipment and vessels will be deployed here, air police will be doubled.Related articles
“This shows special attention to our region.
“We expect seven aeroplanes, almost double in the near future.”
The military exercise is not thought to be a reaction to America’s sweeping sanctions against Russia over its suspected involvement in the US general election.
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The Dmitriy Donskoy (TK-208) nuclear ballistic missile submarine arrives at St Petersburg to take part in a ship parade marking Russian Navy Day in Russia
We expect seven aeroplanes, almost double in the near future
Estonia President Dalia Grybauskaite
But more a sabre-rattling Russia’s plan to shore up its military prowess, which has left NATO allies and Baltic States rattled by Russian intervention in Syria and snap exercises.
It is expected to involve 3,000 Russian