Russia will strengthen defences on its Western borders in response to U.S. plans to deploy Patriot missiles in Poland.

The Russian Baltic Fleet will get additional surface, underwater and air power, including Corvette-class warships armed with long-range high precision cruise missiles, a ranking Navy official told the RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday.

A day earlier Poland announced that a U.S. Patriot missile battery would be deployed in Morag, a small town in northeastern Poland less than 70 km from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

The spat over Patriot missiles in Poland may complicate Russian-American talks on nuclear arms reductions. U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen arrived in Moscow on Thursday to try and wrap up a replacement to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

To avoid spoiling the atmosphere at the talks, the Russian Defence Ministry issued an official denial of any plans to reinforce the Baltic Fleet.

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