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'Worrying': Moscow on US Plans to Increase NATO Funding by 40%

© REUTERS / Ints KalninsU.S., Estonia's and NATO flags flutter next to the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter in Amari air base, Estonia, April 25, 2017
U.S., Estonia's and NATO flags flutter next to the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter in Amari air base, Estonia, April 25, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Moscow is worried about Washington's plans to increase US military spending within NATO by 40 percent, Russia's envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Proposed 2018 US federal budget envisions an increase of $1.4 billion in defense spending in Europe.

"What's worrying today is that the Trump administration has asked for $4.8 billion next year for the so-called Allied Relief Initiative, this year's funding was 3.7 billion, which means a 40 percent increase," Grushko said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television.

News conference with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko - Sputnik International
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According to Grushko, Russia is "closely monitor the situation on the ground," and will take "all  necessary measures to ensure Russia's security interests."

NATO-Russia relations have gone downhill after Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the Ukrainian crisis. In 2014, NATO decided to suspend projects of practical civilian and military cooperation with Moscow, but maintained channels of political dialogue.

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