13:35 GMT31 May 2020
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    The growth of military spending in the US and Europe is related to an intensive rearmament of the US army, as well as NATO's aggressive course in Europe, Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAMTO) told Sputnik.

    Earlier, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published annual data on military spending trends, according to which US military spending increased by 1.7 percent for the first time in five years.

    According to the report, countries of Western, Central and Eastern Europe also spend more and more money for military purposes.

    "This trend is primarily related to the deployment of a system of global American missile defense in Europe, the strengthening of NATO's military presence in the Baltic States and Poland as well as the aggressive course of the military alliance in general, which is aimed at gaining unilateral military and technical superiority over Russia," Korotchenko said.

    According to the expert, US military spending is likely to grow further under current US President Donald Trump. The US leader has already announced plans to strengthen US naval forces and increase the number of US Navy ships up to 350.

    "He also supported further deployment of missile defense systems and the renewal of the US strategic nuclear forces, as well as demanded for European countries to increase their spending within NATO up to 2 percent of their GDP. Therefore, Western military budgets are expected to grow," Korotchenko concluded.

    Over the last few years, NATO has been gradually increasing its military presence in Europe.

    At the 2016 Warsaw summit, NATO decided to deploy multinational battalions in the Baltic States and Poland on a rotary basis in a bid to bolster the countries' security at their own request. According to the NATO officials, the move is aimed at deterring alleged "Russian aggression."


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