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Obama worries NATO allies spending less on defense

March 26, 2014

BRUSSELS (AP) — President Barack Obama says he’s concerned that some NATO allies are reducing their spending on defense.

Obama says for collective defense to work, everybody has to pitch in. Obama says NATO can’t just be a U.S. or British exercise.

Obama spoke at a news conference with European Union leaders in Brussels amid concern about Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea. Obama says the situation in Ukraine, in his words, “reminds us that our freedom isn’t free.

He says there are no immediate plans for a NATO expansion. Ukraine is not a NATO member.

Obama also met Wednesday with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (AHN’-derz fohg RAHS’-moo-sihn). Rasmussen says NATO will increase its military cooperation with Ukraine and help Ukraine modernize its military.

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