Stoltenberg Urges NATO States to Ramp up Defense Investment
© JOHN THYSNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration after their bilateral meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on January 10, 2022.
© JOHN THYS
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO member states should contribute more than the baseline 2% of their GDP to defense, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Sky News broadcaster on Wednesday.
"We need to spend more on defense. I have been a politician myself for many, many years. And I know that, of course, it is always more tempting to spend on healthcare, on education, on infrastructure, instead of spending on defense," Stoltenberg said in an interview.
NATO chief noted that the international landscape became more dangerous, which should prompt the bloc's allies to increase their defense contributions, spending more than NATO's guideline of 2%.
"Two percent is a minimum… The brutal reality is that faced with Russia's military build-up, the will to use force against neighbors, there is a need to invest more in defense," Stoltenberg said.
Meanwhile, not all NATO states meet the 2% target, but most of them have plans to attain this threshold, Stoltenberg said.
In 2006, NATO Defense ministers pledged to spend at least 2% of their GDP on their defense annually. In 2021, NATO's annual report revealed that only eight of the 30 member nations met the spending guidelines.