US defense budget holds €175 million for Baltics
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed the country's 2022 defense budget that includes €175 million for boosting military defense in the Baltic countries.
The €778-billion budget was passed with a considerable majority in the Senate and has already been supported by the House of Representatives, needing only the signature of President Joe Biden to enter into force.
The U.S. media reported that both houses of Congress approved adding €25 billion to the White House bill.
The budget prescribes €300 million in security aid to Ukraine, including €75 million worth of lethal weaponry. The €4-billion European defense portion of the budget also holds €175 million for the Baltic Security Initiative.
The document notes that USA has allocated around €500 million in defense aid for the Baltics since 2018, including for air defense, situational awareness at sea, munitions, anti-tank capacity, special units and other military capabilities.
"It is the sense of Congress that the security of the Baltic region is crucial to the security of the NATO alliance and these efforts are critical to ensure continued deterrence against Russian aggression and bolster allied security," the bill reads. That is why the Congress continues to support robust security assistance for the Baltics as part of strategic U.S. goals.
The proposal to impose sanctions concerning the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and a ban on buying Russia's debt were left out of the bill, Interfax reported.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski