McCain sees Lithuania’s move to raise defence spending as important signal

remove Re-Crop Republican Senator John McCain of the US at the Presidential palace in Vilnius
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

“I thank you for your support for increasing up to 2 percent of GDP for defense. That’s the signal we need to send,” McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at a discussion at the Vilnius University’s International Relations and Political Science Institute.

“You might recall that when president-elect Trump was campaigning. And he was complaining about the lack of our NATO Allies making significant contributions,” he added.

During the US presidential campaign, countries in Central and Eastern Europe were alarmed by Trump’s statements about plans to decide on defending NATO Allies after looking at whether they provide enough funding for their defence.

After completing their visit in Lithuania, the US senators, McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar, will proceed to Ukraine.

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