WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding reports that the President is proposing an increase in funding for NATO/European defense forces:

“The President is doing the right thing by ramping up support for NATO’s Eastern Flank.  I’ve been encouraging a move in this direction for several months.  Ensuring the security of NATO allies isn’t a provocation, but leaving them vulnerable to potential Russian aggression would be: again and again, Putin has seized on unguarded targets, even if it means flouting international law and trampling on the sovereignty of Russia’s neighbors.

“I hope that at the NATO summit in Warsaw this July, the Alliance’s leaders will recognize that the European security environment has shifted and that it’s past time for NATO to catch up.  The President’s decision today is an important step in the right direction, but we need to be prepared to do more.”