Iran Press TV
Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:8AM
Russia plans to form a new reserve armed force as part of steps to enhance its military readiness amid ongoing tensions with the West over the crisis in Ukraine.
The new reserve force will come into existence following a decree by President Vladimir Putin on July 17, Russian media reported Saturday.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the force will be made up of nearly 5,000 troops. The part-time personnel will get monthly salaries and undergo regular training.
The creation of such a force, which was first ordered by Putin in 2012, has been discussed for several years, but has been delayed due to a lack of funding.
Putin's new decree urges the government to finance the new force from the current Defense Ministry budget.
Russia already has several million reservists, who receive little combat training as there are restrictions on how often they can be called up.
The move comes against a backdrop of the escalation of tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
The Moscow-West relations strained sharply after Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.
Relations deteriorated further after Ukraine launched military operations in April 2014 to silence pro-Russia protests in Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in the east of the country.
Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of supporting pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine. Russia categorically denies the allegation.