EU officials are downplaying US objections to European countries' closer co-operation on defence capability development as "just more bombast", despite strong language and open hints of retaliation in a new letter sent by Washington to Federica Mogherini, the EU's top official for security and defence policy.
Expressing its "deep concern", Washington accused the EU's planned rules for third country participation in projects financed by the European Defence Fund (EDF) and Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) as risking "duplication, non-interoperable military systems, diversion of scarce defence resources, and unnecessary competition" between NATO and the EU.
Mogherini and other EU officials have rejected Washington's fears, saying they are exaggerated and misplaced.
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