The Russian foreign ministry Monday called on the U.S. to withdraw its nuclear weapons from European territory, Sputnik News reported.

This follows a report in the Air Force Times newspaper that said the United States’ defense spending plan for 2018 included roughly $214 million to construct repair and build U.S. military structures and installations on air bases in Iceland, Norway and much of Eastern Europe.

The funds are towards the European Deterrence Initiative, or EDI. The European Reassurance Initiative as it was known formerly, “was initiated several months after the Russian annexation of Crimea and subsequent violence in eastern Ukraine, where still today Russian forces back Ukrainian separatists,” the Air Force Times reported.

Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Sputnik News: "Russia returned all its nuclear weapons to its national territory. We believe that the same should have been done by the American side a long time ago."

Ulyanov contends that Washington "continues to keep, according to estimates, up to two hundred aviation bombs in Europe."

"And they plan to modernize them in such a way that they become, according to a number of retired U.S. military, 'more suitable for use' due to increased accuracy and reduction of destructive power. If it really is meant to place an additional number of nuclear warheads in Europe beyond what is available, this can only aggravate the situation," Ulyanov added.

Russia’s foreign ministry has repeatedly criticized the 3,000 to 5,000 NATO soldiers deployed in European countries bordering Russia, along with equipment, in an effort to “deter” Moscow, Sputnik News reported.

“As we continue to address the dynamic security environment in Europe, EDI funding increases our capabilities to deter and defend against Russian aggression,” the Air Force Times quoted from an EDI fact sheet. “Additionally, these significant investments will further galvanize U.S. support to the collective defense of our NATO Allies, as well as bolster the security and capacity of our U.S. partners.”

NATO in 2016 decided to approve sending four multinational battalions into the Baltic states.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently said the alliance were committed to maintaining an increased presence in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe "as long as necessary."

This was preceded by alliance members agreeing on instituting a new adaptive command structure to improve their ability in order "to improve the movement of military forces across Europe."

The new reinforcements, reminiscent of the Cold War, will include high-tech stealth fighters like the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 Strike Fighter and reconnaissance assets to potentially target Russian subs lurking in the North and Baltic Seas, according to the Air Force Times article.

“While we can’t provide specific details on future operations and locations, we continuously look for opportunities for our fifth-generation aircraft to conduct interoperability training with our allies and partners in the European theater,” said Maj. Juan Martinez, a spokesperson for U.S. European Command.