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Pentagon to Surge Europe Budget in Response to Russia - Media

© AFP 2022 / PETRAS MALUKASA paratrooper of the 173rd Airborne Brigade of the US Army in Europe holds his country's flag after the final operation of the exercise "Black Arrow 2014" in Rukla, Lithuania
A paratrooper of the 173rd Airborne Brigade of the US Army in Europe holds his country's flag after the final operation of the exercise Black Arrow 2014 in Rukla, Lithuania - Sputnik International
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The US Defense Ministry is planning a “significant” boost in its budget for war operations in Europe, claiming that this step will give a response to Russia and assure US allies that Americans are ready to protect them.

Local residents watch as a members of US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment ride on an armored vehicle during the ''Dragoon Ride'' military exercise, in Salociai some 178 kms (110 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, March 23, 2015. - Sputnik International
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The Pentagon is going to boost its expenses in 2017 for operations in Europe, the Financial Times reported, citing statements by agency officials. The US plans to increase the funding of the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) program aimed at enlarging the American presence in Europe.

Mike McCord, Pentagon Comptroller, announced that idea while delivering a speech about ERI, noting that although the exact number is still been discussed, it will be “a pretty significant increase.”

According to FT, the proposed measure will foremost serve as a response to Russia amid the Ukraine crisis, and secondly will “reassure” US allies doubting America’s devotion to their security.

Brian McKeon, Principal Deputy under the Secretary of Defense for Policy, claimed during a recent congressional hearing that the raise in the defense budget for operations in Europe will also be to counter Russia amid alleged violations by Moscow of an arms control treaty for medium-range missiles.

“There are a number of capabilities that we’re investing in, some of which were already on the books and some of which will be new or increased in the 2017 budget,” McKeon claimed. “They [the Russians] will see these activities and they will see them in our budget. And they will start to understand, we believe, that this response is not making them any more secure.”

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US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter claimed earlier that the US is funding arms like lasers and new electronic warfare systems that are “relevant to Russia’s provocations.” He also said that the US is working on “operational plans for deterrence” for Russia.

The Pentagon budget plan is about to be presented in February, 2017.

Relations between Russia and the US deteriorated in the wake of the crisis Ukraine. Kiev authorities along with some western countries have accused Russia of meddling in the conflict in Donbass multiple times without presenting evidence.  International monitoring groups have also not registered any violations from the Russian side on the Ukrainian border, including that of waging undeclared war.

Moscow, in turn, has many times claimed that Russia is not a party in the internal Ukrainian conflict or involved in the Donbass conflict and is interested in the resolution of the political and economic crisis in its neighboring country.

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