WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter unveiled the Pentagon budget at the beginning of February. According to Pentagon officials, the new NATO Reassurance Initiative funds will support the deployment of between 3,000 and 5,000 troops and the forward placement of military equipment to NATO’s eastern flank.
“That is something that certainly will bring more tensions, additional possibility of difficulties in our relations,” Kislyak said on Wednesday of the new funds.
The Pentagon’s 2017 budget includes a request for $3.4 billion in funds for the European Reassurance Initiative, a defense program to bolster NATO’s eastern allies against Russia. In the previous year’s budget, the United States spent $789 million on European defense.
“It is not about reassurance, it is about buildup next to our borders,” Kislyak said, adding that he finds the new US defense spending “disappointing.”