Germany reiterates commitment to 2% NATO spending target

Germany reiterates commitment to 2% NATO spending target

Berlin to spend €56.1B on defense next year in addition to special fund aimed at modernizing armed forces, says Defense Ministry deputy spokesperson

By Oliver Towfigh Nia

BERLIN (AA) - Germany on Wednesday reiterated its pledge to reaching NATO’s 2% defense spending target.

“The federal government is committed to NATO's 2% target. The 2% target of NATO is also set in July 2023 in the adopted national security strategy of the federal government. The federal government will already achieve this goal in 2024,” Wolfgang Buechner, a government spokesman, told media in Berlin.

According to Nadine Krueger, the Defense Ministry deputy spokesperson, Germany will spend €51.8 billion ($56.1 billion) on defense next year in addition to the €100-billion special fund aimed at rapidly modernizing the armed forces.

Last week, the German government stepped back at the last minute from making a legal commitment to meeting NATO’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense on an annual basis.

In the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the Zeitenwende, a new era in Germany’s security policy.

“From now on, we will invest more than 2% of the GDP into our defense year after year,” Scholz said in February 2022. He reaffirmed this vow after last month’s NATO summit in Vilnius.

“We have decided that we want to spend these 2% on defense for the Bundeswehr (German army). Next year we will achieve this for the first time from budget funds and the special fund," said Scholz.

"And I repeat here what I have said on many occasions: It will remain so, even if the special fund is used up," he added.

For many years, Germany was criticized by NATO partners, especially the US and its East European allies, for not sticking to NATO’s requirement on defense spending.

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