MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Defence Ministry plans to call up military reservists across the country for two months of training exercises on new weapons, news agency Interfax reported on Friday.
Moscow has previously used such exercises to boost troop numbers on its border with Ukraine. There are concerns in the West that Russian forces could intervene in the conflict between the Kiev’s government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The exercises were planned last November, the defence ministry said, and will last from August until October.
“Special attention will be given to military reservists’ mastering of new and modernised weapons, military and special equipment as well as their use,” Interfax quoted the ministry as saying.
Unlike most Western governments, Russia is boosting its defence budget and aims to spend 21 trillion roubles (347.8 billion pounds)by the end of the decade to upgrade weapons and technology.
($1 = 35.8134 Russian Roubles)
Reporting by Thomas Grove