- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s pledge to strengthen its military was meant for “domestic consumption” and not intended to worry Washington.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that President Barack Obama looks forward to meeting with Medvedev at the coming G-20 summit in London.

Gibbs says Medvedev’s statement that NATO expansion is prompting an ambitious military modernization plan is not on-base.

Gibbs says NATO is a defensive organization and is not an offensive threat to Russia.

Moscow has fiercely opposed plans to put Ukraine and Georgia on track to NATO membership. Officials have also hoped that the Obama administration would cancel plans to deploy missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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