MOSCOW, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed Tuesday that Russia is considering a proposal to strengthen the Navy's operational readiness.
"Russian Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov suggested making changes to the Navy Activity Plan by 202," Shoigu said Tuesday, explaining that these "suggestions should provide for the reequipping of personnel with modern arms and military equipment, as well as raise the operation readiness of naval forces."
The Russian defense minister confessed, "I won't hide the fact that this is pretty much due to the events of the law few months," an apparent reference to the on-going crisis with Ukraine and resulting tensions with NATO.
The Russian Navy is already expecting the delivery of a new warship in the fall and several ships over the next three years to bolster its Black Sea Fleet off the Crimean coast.
While Russia considers strengthening its Navy, NATO is considering its response to potential continued aggression.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Phillip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told German newspaper Die Welt that "We're going to look at ... specifically the NATO Response Force."
"In this new hybrid warfare, we see Russia applying all of the elements of national power in a coercive way to affect change in other sovereign nations."
"We're going to look at how to... be more prepared in a command and control stance to react to Article 5 defense," Breedlove said, referring to the NATO Treaty's collective defense provision that authorizes military response to an armed attack against one or more NATO parties.