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Russian top official comments on increase in NATO's military spending

The official considers the statements on increasing NATO’s military spending an attempt to "skim the cream off the ‘cool war’ situation with Russia"

MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Head of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev considers the statements on increasing NATO’s military spending an attempt to "skim the cream off the ‘cool war’ situation with Russia."

The upper house official on his Facebook page wrote that in recent years "the talk has started again about an imminent and certain increase in NATO’s military spending." According to him, "This is an obvious attempt to skim the cream off the ‘cool war’ situation with Russia as soon as possible."

According to Kosachev, attempts have long been taken to persuade the EU countries to allocate 2% of their GDP for military spending, but "very few of them" have adhered to this target, as in most European countries "social needs has always prevailed in budget allocations." "Therefore, Brussels now has the most convenient pretext to spur those lagging and make them come down with money," the Russian Federation Council member said.

In his view, the rush of Washington and Brussels is caused by the fact that "there is a convenient excuse - the "aggressive Russia." "And judging by the NATO pressure exerted on the EU members, one may suspect that they themselves do not believe any more that this pretext will remain for long," says Kosachev.

According to him, "more NATO countries have openly and at the high level spoken in favor of lifting sanctions on Russia, there are fewer and fewer of those who believe that Russia’s aggression against NATO countries is possible." The Russian upper house member also noted the resumption of the Russia-NATO official contacts "at the ambassadorial level so far."

"The cooperation issues begin at least to catch up in popularity with the issues of confrontation - if we take Syria, for example," the parliamentarian said. "It is clear that the Alliance has begun to worry: the ‘Russian threat’ will fade away soon, and they have failed to derive any material benefit from it", he added. "The problems in our relations are not in the number of ‘bayonets,’ but in the heads - in the minds of those who have seen the ‘Russian threat’ and are trying hard to sell it to European taxpayers," according to the head of the Federation Council International Affairs Committee.

As for the actual defense spending of Russia and NATO countries, "they prefer to keep silent about it," Kosachev noted, citing data of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, according to which, in 2014, Russia allocated for the army development $70 billion, while the United States - $581 billion, Germany - $44 billion, the UK - $61 billion and France - $53 billion.