NATO allies to spend at least 2%’ of GDP on defense

Brussels, July 8 (BNA): Two diplomats told Reuters late on Friday that NATO allies have reached an agreement to raise the alliance’s target for military spending to at least 2% of the national gross domestic product.

The 31 allies agreed to “a permanent commitment to invest at least 2%” of their gross domestic product in their future militaries, said two diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity and confirmed an earlier report by dpa.

Agreement on the new spending target was one of the outstanding issues ahead of a two-day NATO summit on Tuesday and Wednesday next week in Vilnius, Reuters reported.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg intended to make NATO’s current military spending target of 2% of national GDP a minimum requirement rather than a target.

In 2023, even the old target will be achieved by only 11 of the alliance’s 31 members, according to NATO estimates. The goal was set in 2014 when NATO leaders agreed to increase spending by 2% of their GDP on defense within a decade.

The 11 allies in question are the United States, Britain, Poland, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovakia.

In the background stood Canada, Slovenia, Turkey, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, whose defense spending was less than 1.4% of GDP.


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