Austin expressed his gratitude to the Allies for the increase in defense spending over seven years.
"Minister Austin noted that defense spending is urgently needed in order to ensure the availability of the ready-made forces and means necessary to meet Russia and other NATO challenges", - said in a statement from the US defense department.
Austin called "Russia's destabilizing behavior" one of the threats and challenges for NATO.
It's worth reminding that on the eve of the Pentagon announced the topics with which Austin was supposed to speak to the ministers of the countries of the alliance. The US Department of Defense planned to talk about both the "destabilizing activities of the Russian Federation" and about the fact that Russia "uses military force to achieve its goals".
At an online conference, Austin named China as another threat to NATO (along with coronavirus and climate change). Let us remind you that earlier the Pentagon called cooperation between Moscow and Beijing "a marriage of convenience".