17:20 GMT04 August 2020
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    Baltic states accusing Russia of the so-called "aggression" hope to receive financial support from the West, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov said Sunday in an interview with the Financial Times.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Since 2014, the Baltic states’ governments have started to increase defense spending, asking the NATO members for assistance in response to the alleged "Russian threat."

    "I find it funny to hear how Russia is being accused of military aggressiveness. … This is of course being done consciously by the Baltic states themselves in order to receive money from you," Ivanov said.

    He added that the Western governments would be forced to spend their defense budget "for unnecessary purposes.”

    "But the most important thing is: Why do we have to do this? What, do you seriously think that we want to unleash war with NATO? Are we suicidal? What do we need this for?" the official pointed out.

    NATO has boosted its military presence in the Baltic region amid the Ukrainian crisis, while Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over the bloc's activities near Russian borders and denied claims of involvement in Ukraine's internal affairs.


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