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US tells NATO members to cough up more cash


brussels bureau

US tells NATO members to cough up more cash

NATO’s spending target of two percent of the yearly economic output of members is neither “reachable nor desirable.”

That from Germany, as America’s Secretary of State met allies in Brussels for the first time – and demanded they cough up more cash.

“First is ensuring that NATO has all the resources, financial and otherwise, that are necessary for NATO to fulfill its mission,” said Rex Tillerson, as he outlined his priorities to members.

But Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told the meeting: “Two percent would mean military expenses of some 70 billion euros. I don’t know any German politician who would claim that is reachable nor desirable.”

The US provides almost 70 percent of NATO’s budget. Only four European NATO members have hit the spending target – Estonia, Greece, Poland and Britain.

“We have started to increase defence spending across the alliance after many years of cuts,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Washington wants allies to pay up or outline their plans to do so when NATO leaders meet in May for a top level summit. President Donald Trump, who has described the alliance as “obsolete,” is expected to be at that meeting.

brussels bureau

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