Tuesday 23 January 2018

Why key US allies in Nato are rattled by Trump's plans to slash budget of State Department

Last month workers unloaded US M1 Abrams tanks that will be deployed in Latvia for NATO's Operation Atlantic Resolve in Garkalne, Latvia Picture: Reuters
Last month workers unloaded US M1 Abrams tanks that will be deployed in Latvia for NATO's Operation Atlantic Resolve in Garkalne, Latvia Picture: Reuters

Robbie Gramer

US President Donald Trump has proposed slashing State Department and foreign aid budgets by nearly 40pc. Now European diplomats are warning those cuts would be dangerous and expose European allies to further Russian aggression.

Six eastern European envoys, including the Ukrainian foreign minister, testified before the US senate this week to urge stronger US leadership in the region to hedge against Russia. While lauding US military assistance and recent troop deployments to the Baltic region under the Nato flag, they also warned cutting funding to non-military assistance measures could strengthen Russia's so-called hybrid warfare tactics.

"We will not feel safer when the budget for such projects will be essentially cut," Polish Ambassador Piotr Wilczek told a panel of Senate Appropriations Committee members.

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