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Russian envoy: Military budget of NATO’s European states exceeds Russia’s and China’s

February 16, 2017, 23:20 UTC+3

"NATO’s mythology about threats coming from Russia rests on an idea of NATO’s weakness," the envoy said

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© AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

BRUSSELS, February 16. /TASS/. NATO’s weakness in the face of Russia is a myth as military spending of NATO’s European allies alone (about 30% of NATO’s overall military budget) exceeds Russia’s and China’s overall military budget, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said on Thursday.

"NATO’s mythology about threats coming from Russia rests on an idea of NATO’s weakness. The figures however speak for themselves. Overall military spending of NATO’s European states alone exceed 250 billion euro and this figure is bigger than the overall military budget of Russia and China. If we look at real security demands, this is more than enough," he said after a meeting of NATO’s defense ministers.

Key risks

"The risk comes from NATO’s plans of not mere increasing spending but of buying weapons. If these plans are realize, we may find ourselves in a situation of cold war when military planning as such targeted to counter a big enemy generates a relevant policy. And this is fraught with getting into an endless circle that will be very difficult to get out. The history of the cold war is the history of how military planning and politics, mutually influencing each other, led to the situation when it became clear that the price of peace in the cold war environment was unaffordable for all," the Russian diplomat noted.

"As for distribution of resources, analysis of information we are receiving from various sources, including from conversation, demonstrates that today many believe that it is necessary to think not about buying weapons, say U.S. F-35 warplanes or tanks, but, first of all, about reinforcing law enforcement agencies, anti-terrorism structures, police, information systems that woild make it possible to exchange data," Grushko said.

"The migrant problem obviously requires financial expenses. And I think it will also be a factor influencing discussions at NATO and in Western society in general about which instruments are to be created to address the challenges of the present-day world," he emphasized.

Security guarantee is normal relations with Russia

"In any case, we cannot turn a blind eye on the negative changes in the alliance’s military layout. Obviously, this situation is to stay for long as it implies not mere rotation of for battalion groups, rotation of the American brigade in countries of Eastern Europe. Big efforts are being taken today to improve the military infrastructure, to boost the capacity of airfields, to set up additional headquarters - eight of them have already been established and a multinational brigade-level headquarters is to be set up on the basis of the Romanian army brigade," the Russian ambassador noted. "Naturally, all this will entail dramatic changes in the military security situation in its classical sense and creates threats to Russia."

"Nevertheless, I believe that sooner or later, European states will see where their security interests really are. The best security guarantee is naturally, healthy and normal relations with Russia," he stressed.

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