NATO’s European allies increased military spending by nearly four percent last year, bucking a recent trend of cuts.
But several countries still failed to meet the pre-agreed target of 2 percent of GDP on defence, Jens Stoltenberg revealed on Tuesday.
The NATO Secretary-General urged allies to deliver on their promises on the eve of his first meeting with US defence chief James Mattis.
“We are aware that several NATO allies are struggling with the budgets, with deficits, and with challenges related to how to increase defence spending. Having said that, this is always a question of how to prioritise defence. And when 28 allies agreed, I expect all 28 allies to deliver,” the NATO chief said.
Stoltenberg’s comments came as US tanks and troops arrived in southern Romania.
The deployment, which was ordered by Barack Obama, is part of an operation to reassure NATO allies concerned about Russia.
During his election campaign President Donald Trump claimed the US was being ripped off and hinted he might not defend countries inside the alliance who refuse to pay their fair share.