Snr senator says new Pentagon budget threatens normalization of Russia-US relations
“The US senate has approved the 2018 draft defense budget. Among other things the draft contains the part on ‘countering Russian aggression’ … which definitely is not only new money allocated for the needs of the military, but also an attempt to create new long-term strategies that, if realized, can completely destroy any hope for normalization in Russia-US relations,” Konstantin Kosachev wrote on Facebook.
After quoting the document’s provisions in Russian translation, the senator wrote that it was difficult to comment on it. “What can I say? The congressmen, who are blinded by their own Russophobia, are expressing their perverted understanding of the world and their own country’s place in this world. With potential destructive political and economic consequences for this country and the world as a whole,” Kosachev wrote.
The anti-Russian steps listed in Kosachev’s post include the allocation of $4.6 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, $350 million of military aid to Ukraine and $100 million to Baltic states, $58 million for the US response to Russia’s alleged violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and various sanctions against people and companies cooperating with Russia. The bill also demands that the US defense secretary and secretary of state develop and realize a major strategy on countering Russia.
According to the documents posted on the government web portal, Russia’s own defense budget for 2018 amounts to about 943 billion rubles (about $15 billion), down from 1.2 trillion rubles (about $20 billion) in 2017 and a fraction of the $700-billion draft defense budget approved by the US Congress.