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NATO seeks no confrontation with Russia — US ambassador

March 02, 20:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The diplomat commented on remarks of the United States General Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, who earlier said Russia is a long-term existential threat for the US
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NATO military in Europe (archive)

NATO military in Europe (archive)

© EPA/TOMASZ WASZCZUK

MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. NATO poses no threat to Russia and does not want any confrontation, US Ambassador to Moscow John Tefft wrote in a question-and-answer session on Facebook on Wednesday.

Tefft was asked to comment on remarks of the United States General Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, who earlier said Russia is a long-term existential threat for the US.

According to Tefft, NATO is a defense alliance, it "does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia."

"But we cannot ignore the principles of our alliance, which are the basis for the security in Europe and North America," Tefft said.

"Russia has chosen to be an adversary and poses a long-term existential threat to the United States and to our European allies and partners," Breedlove earlier said, adding that Russia was seeking to "rewrite the agreed rules of the international order," and undermine unity in Europe.

"To counter Russia, working with allies and partners, is deterring Russia now and preparing to fight and win if necessary," he said.

The funding for the European Reassurance Initiative, he said, would provide more rotation forces, increase training with allies and partners, increase key position war-fighting equipment in theater, increase the capacities of allies and partners, and improve the requisite supporting infrastructure.

"Our further efforts to assure, deter and defend, supported by the European Reassurance Initiative, would complement those of the entire whole-of-government team," Breedlove said.

The general said, supportable increases in capabilities are needed, as called for in the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2017 budget request.

"This year's budget request reflects our solemn commitment to the security of our allies and partners and to protecting our homeland forward," he said.

The request seeks to quadruple funding for the initiative to $3.4 billion.

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