The Foreign Ministry on Thursday said Russia will take “compensatory measures” in response to U.S. plans to expand its military presence in Europe — a policy move explicitly designed to deter feared Russian aggression against NATO nations in the future, news agency RIA Novosti reported.
“A symmetrical response for this [increased U.S. presence in Europe] is not completely necessary, I'm sure. Compensatory measures to maintain the usual military strategic balance are and will be taken,” said Andrei Kelin, head of the Foreign Ministry's European Cooperation Department.
The U.S. is planning to allocate $3.4 billion of its 2017 military budget to strengthening European security amid fresh calls in Washington to bolster NATO defenses against a possible Russian invasion of the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
A recent report by the influential RAND Corp claimed that numerous war games and studies looking into NATO's current ability to defend the Baltics against a Russian assault found that Moscow could take the region in just three days, leaving NATO unable to respond without sparking a nuclear war.