01:16 GMT +315 December 2019
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    A Russian T-14 Armata tank drives through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2015.

    Russia Not Seriously Concerned About NATO Military Expenditures

    © AFP 2019 / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is not seriously concerned about NATO's controversial plans to expand military expenditures.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — Russia is not seriously concerned about NATO's controversial plans to expand military expenditures, because the country's defense capabilities are safeguarded reliably, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Le Figaro newspaper in an interview.

    "NATO leaders spoke at their summit about a desire to improve relations with Russia. Then why are they increasing their military spending? Whom are they planning to fight against? I see an inner contradiction here, although this is not our business. Let NATO decide who will pay and how much. We have our own defence to deal with, and we are working to ensure it reliably and with a view to the future. We feel confident," Putin said.

    The issue of NATO’s funding has been raised repeatedly by the administration of US President Donald Trump, which stressed all the alliance's members should respect their NATO budget responsibilities. According to the NATO 2014 Wales Summit Declaration, the alliance member states should pursue the target of spending 2 percent of their GDP to funding NATO within a decade.

    During Thursday's NATO Summit in Belgium's capital of Brussels, the alliance’s leaders also agreed to develop annual national plans which would, in particular, address additional funding in key military capabilities.

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    NATO, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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