Home / BBC News / Germany rejects US pressure for Nato spending rise

Germany rejects US pressure for Nato spending rise

A soldier of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, in Gao, Mali, 4 MarchImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption German troops are currently deployed in Mali to help the government fight rebels

Calls by the Trump administration for Germany and other Nato partners to increase spending on defence have been rejected by Germany.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was “quite unrealistic” to believe Germany would spend 2% of its economic output on the military.

Other spending such as development aid, he said, should be taken into account.

However, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg echoed US calls for member states to pay an equal proportion.

“Diplomacy, development aid, economic co-operation can be important to help stabilise a region,” Mr Stoltenberg told a news conference after Nato talks in Brussels.

“We have international targets, guidelines, for development aid, 0.7% of GDP [gross domestic product], and then we have a Nato agreement on moving towards 2%. But those are two different things… It is not either development or security, it is development and security.”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told his counterparts in Brussels that by the next Nato summit – to be held in Brussels in less than eight weeks’ time – there should be a commitment to produce clear plans to demonstrate how each country would meet its spending commitments.

“As President [Donald] Trump has made clear, it is no longer sustainable for the US to maintain a disproportionate share of Nato’s defence expenditures,” he said.

The meeting of Nato foreign ministers, originally scheduled for next week, was brought forward to suit Mr Tillerson’s schedule.

According to Nato’s 2016 annual report, only five countries met the 2% target – the US, the UK, Greece, Poland and Estonia. By contrast, Germany spent 1.2% on defence.

However, according to latest OECD available figures based on gross national income, Germany spent more in relative terms on overseas development aid in 2015 than the US – 0.52% of GNI compared with 0.17% for America.

Check Also

Kirkuk: Iraqi forces capture key sites from Kurds

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Iraq’s central government said the operation aimed to “secure bases …

Sebastian Kurz: Austrian conservative set to become world’s youngest leader

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionConservative Sebastian Kurz: the frontrunner Austria’s conservative …

Somalia: Huge bomb one of Mogadishu’s deadliest

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Austria election: 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz tipped as next leader

Image copyright AFP Image caption Sebastian Kurz has reinvented Austria’s conservative party, making it more …

Somalia: At least 30 dead in Mogadishu blasts

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe aftermath of the explosion in Mogadishu …