US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Friday that the Biden administration wants “predictable and stable” relations with Russia.
Mr Austin’s comments came in response to a question about the deteriorating relationship between NATO and Russia following the latter’s decision on Monday to suspend its NATO mission and close alliance offices in Moscow. in response to the expulsion of 8 Russian diplomats from NATO.
Speaking in Brussels after a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Mr Austin also said the United States supported efforts to create “a stronger and more capable European defense”.
European officials have recently discussed ways to improve their military capabilities and not rely too much on the United States, a development that follows the chaotic withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan.
Mr Austin said he welcomed any efforts in this direction, adding that the United States “would like to see initiatives that complement complementary actions taken by NATO”.
Secretary of Defense Austin told reporters that the United States remains committed to continuing the evacuation process from Afghanistan while the country is under Taliban control.
“We have a moral responsibility to work as hard as we can to help those people,” he said.
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