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NATO Chief: Defense Spending Cuts in Europe Unsustainable

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, shakes hands with Slovakia's President Ivan Gasparovic, right, as they meet at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia, May 15, 2014.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that cuts in European members' defense spending, especially in central and eastern Europe, were unsustainable as Russia increases its military budget.

“Russian defense spending has grown by more than 10 percent in real terms each year over the past five years,” he told a security conference in the Slovak capital.

“By contrast, several European NATO countries have cut their defense spending by more than 20 percent over the same period.

“And the cuts have been particularly deep here in central and eastern Europe. This is unsustainable. Now is the time to stop the cuts and start reversing the trend," he said.