LONDON (AP) – The Latest on the NATO summit in London (all times local):
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that Russia will not get involved in an arms race with NATO, even if the alliance increases its military spending.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that European allies and Canada have added $130 billion to their defense spending since 2016.
Peskov said Wednesday that NATOâ€™s increased military spending â€œreinforcesâ€ the Kremlinâ€™s concerns.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that NATOâ€™s expansion and beefing up of its military infrastructure near Russiaâ€™s borders threatens the nationâ€™s security.
Peskov said, however, that Russia will not get involved â€œin an arms race or in a spending raceâ€ with NATO as it would be detrimental to the countryâ€™s economy.
â€œPutin repeatedly pointed out that we are operating in a different way,â€ he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron is refusing to apologize for saying that NATO is suffering â€œbrain deathâ€ and says his remarks could help jumpstart talks at the alliance about important strategic issues.
Arriving Wednesday at a NATO summit near London, Macron said his interview with the Economist magazine, which alarmed some allies, has â€œallowed us to raise fundamental debates.â€
Chief among them, Macron says, is â€œhow to build sustainable peace in Europe.â€
He says NATO â€œdebates should be about other things than budgets and finances.â€
Macron says leadersâ€™ â€œresponsibility is to highlight ambiguities that could be damaging and to launch a real strategic debate.â€
In the interview last month, Macron said NATO was suffering due to a lack of U.S. leadership and through ally Turkeyâ€™s invasion of northern Syria. U.S. President Donald Trump described the remarks as â€œvery, very nasty.â€
NATO leaders on Wednesday played down their differences and insisted that they remain united over security issues and determined to defend each other despite a series of spats between the presidents of some of the allianceâ€™s biggest member countries.
Ahead of a summit near London, French President Emmanuel Macron had lamented the â€œbrain deathâ€ of NATO due in part to what he called a lack of U.S. leadership. President Donald Trump branded his remarks as â€œvery disrespectful.â€ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that Macron himself is â€œbrain dead.â€
The infighting is mostly due to Turkeyâ€™s invasion of northern Syria. Macron has complained that Trump pulled U.S. troops out of the region without warning his NATO allies. Turkey saw the move as a greenlight to send its troops in.
â€œNATO is agile, NATO is active, NATO is adapting,â€ NATO-Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said when asked by reporters whether the worldâ€™s biggest security alliance is brain dead.
â€œAs long as we are able to deliver substance… then NATO proves once again that we are able to respond to a shifting security landscape, and thatâ€™s the best way to also provide unity of this alliance,â€ he said before chairing the summit at a luxury hotel and golf resort on the outskirts of London.