MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Germany is concerned over Russia’s "great military potential" in the Baltic region, as well as over the increase in the US defense spending, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday.
"In my point of view we are concerned because in having certain discussions with both sides, we have great potential of the Russian Armed Forces in the Baltic states, in Poland, or a serious increase in the US defense budget, that we are coming close to the danger of another arms race," Gabriel told a press conference.
Earlier in the day, during the meeting with Lavrov Gabriel stated that it was "still a little early" to discuss the specific ways of preventing a new arms race in Europe.
On February 27, the US Office of Management and Budget announced that Donald Trump’s budget proposal would boost military and security spending by $54 billion with a corresponding reduction in all other discretionary spending.
NATO has been significantly increasing its presence in Eastern Europe after the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 using alleged Russian interference in the Ukrainian internal affairs as a pretext, a claim Russia has repeatedly denied.
Moscow has repeatedly voiced its protests against the NATO military buildup saying that will undermine regional stability and result in a new arms race.