- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 1, 2017

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romania’s top defense body has approved a 9.8 billion-euro ($11.3 billion) spending plan for the next decade and has pledged to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense as NATO requests of its members.

The Supreme Defense Council met Tuesday and agreed to spend the money to upgrade the country’s military from 2017-2026.

Last week Defense Minister Adrian Tutuianu said Romania would buy Patriot missiles worth $3.9 billion from the U.S.

Parliament needs to pass a law that would allow the acquisition. The U.S. State Department approved the sale in July, saying it would help to “improve the security of a NATO ally.”

The U.S. has increased its presence in Eastern Europe with regular training exercises to reassure NATO’s European allies after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014.

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