Russia says reports about NATO's plans to boost its military spending confirm Moscow's concerns over the US-led alliance’s eastward expansion, which President Vladimir Putin said was threatening his country.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that “NATO carries out actions aimed at containment and expansion with regards our country. This can only prompt our concern.”
He said that Russia would not be dragged into a costly arms race despite NATO's behavior.
Meanwhile, NATO leaders gathered in London for a summit marking the 29-member military alliance's 70th anniversary amid disagreements over several issues, including defense spending and Turkey's future role in the alliance.
The defense spending has long been an issue among the members, however. The US, which militarily dominates the alliance, has been calling for extra spending from other member states.
Since taking office in January 2016, US President Donald Trump has been calling for extra spending from other NATO allies.
Ahead of the UK meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced increased spending commitments. He said that the allies were making real progress, most importantly on the burden sharing.
According to him, Canada and European allies had added $130 billion to defense budgets since 2016 and that this number would increase to $400 billion by 2024.
Russia has been wary of NATO’s increased build-up near its borders.
President Putin said on Tuesday that his country was “obliged to view NATO expansion, the development of its military infrastructure close to (Russian) borders as one of the potential threats to our country’s security."
Copyright © 2021 Press TV. All rights reserved.