The Director of the Department of European cooperation (DOS) of the Russian foreign Ministry Andrey Kelin said in an interview to “RIA Novosti” that Russia will take “mitigation measures” in response to the continued expansion of U.S. military presence in Europe.
“Symmetric steps are unlikely, given the huge amount of money that American partners are now investing: next year they get four times as much to invest”, he said, noting that he is convinced that the symmetric response in this situation is not needed. “Compensatory measures for maintaining normal military strategic equation are accepted and will be accepted”, — concluded the diplomat.
February 2 the U.S. Secretary of defense Ashton Carter at the meeting of the Economic club in Washington spoke about the draft budget for the 2017 fiscal year and has asked to increase troops in Europe to $3.4 billion According to Carter, this amount is required to boost military training and exercises, which will focus on “soothing connection with actions of Russia in European countries and U.S. allies in NATO,” wrote Reuters.
Carter noted the need to change the priorities for U.S. military spending, which should match the strategic environment. According to the head of the Pentagon, now it is connected with strengthening of positions of Russia and the growing threat posed by “Islamic state” (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization).
Earlier that Washington plans to significantly increase the deployment of heavy weapons and armored vehicles in Central and Eastern Europe, wrote The New York Times, citing its own sources. According to interlocutors of publication, the White house plans to allocate $3.4 billion compared with $789 million previously. It was noted that this is intended to send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin.