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    Major Increase in NATO Funding to Worsen US, Russia Tensions - Russia Envoy

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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)
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    The 400 percent increase in US funding toward the NATO Reassurance Initiative will only worsen the relationship between Washington and Moscow, Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak told Sputnik.

    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.”

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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

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    budget, NATO, Pentagon, Ashton Carter
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