- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Russia is crafting a way to bolster its naval capabilities over the next six years, a move Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday is a response to tensions with NATO.

“These proposals must ensure that our forces are reequipped with modern weapons and military equipment,” Russian news agencies quoted Shoigu as saying, Agence France-Presse reported. “I will not hide that this in large part is linked to events of recent months.”

Since the Russian annexation of Crimea and its military involvement with eastern Ukraine, President Obama announced a $1 billion security plan for European allies who are worried about President Vladimir Putin’s long-term plans for the region, AFP reported.

In June, Russia christened a top-secret nuclear submarine named Severodvinsk.

“The Navy’s incorporation of the new nuclear submarine Severodvinsk is a significant step toward strengthening the undersea component of the Navy potential. Rejuvenation of the submarine forces has come to a practical stage,” Russia’s Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said at the time.

Severodvinsk is fourth-generation vessel, the first Yasen K-560 nuclear submarine for Russia and the the 131st nuclear submarine built for the Russian Navy.

SEE ALSO: Putin’s nuclear navy gets an upgrade: Russia christens new top-secret submarine

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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