Russia will boost its forces in Crimea because of the Ukraine crisis and the foreign military build-up, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.
He said Russia must deploy "a full and self-reliant" military force in the Crimea region.
"The military political situation in southwestern strategic areas has dramatically changed since the beginning of the current year,” he told a regular meeting of the Russian defense ministry’s board according to Itar-Tass.
“To a greater extent, it stems from the territorial expansion of the southern military district after Crimea acceded to Russia,” he said.
He added that, “Such state of things has made certain adjustments in the routine work of the district’s command.”
The Minister also said that Moscow would consider military activities in the region until 2020, “with due account of measures to ensure Russia’s security in the territory of the Crimean federal district."
The announcement comes as NATO held a military drill in the west of Ukraine on Monday involving more than 1,000 troops from 15 NATO and non-NATO countries near the border with Poland.