The defense expenses of NATO member countries will increase by $3 billion in 2016. Such an assessment was announced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference.
“The annual growth will be around 1.5%,” Stoltenberg said.
At the same time, he confirmed that NATO will deploy 4 battalions in the Baltic States and Poland.
Also, NATO Secretary General said that the Alliance focuses on stability in its eastern flank, in particular in Ukraine and Georgia.
“The spread of stability is also important in the eastern vicinity of the alliance. Therefore, we will study the possibility of providing additional assistance to Ukraine and Georgia,” he said he (according to Interfax), adding that a stable environment contributes to the security of NATO alliance itself.
Stoltenberg noted that the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance intends to hold a new meeting of the NATO – Russia Council (NRC), stressing the importance of dialogue with Russia, especially during tense relations with Moscow.
“We are considering the possibility of a new NRC meeting before the summit [in July in Warsaw],” NATO Secretary General said. “Of course, we need to agree on agenda with Russia, and we can not confirm a specific date when the meeting takes place,” he added.