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Stoltenberg expects record NATO defense spending amid Trump's threats

Stoltenberg expects record NATO defense spending amid Trump's threats Jens Stoltenberg (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

NATO countries will allocate record funds for defense in 2024, announced NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, reports Reuters.

According to the Secretary General, European NATO countries will collectively invest $380 billion in defense this year, resulting in their overall spending reaching around 2% of GDP in 2024 compared to 1.85% in 2023.

"I expect 18 allies to spend 2% of their GDP on defence this year," Stoltenberg noted.

He added that overall defense spending would be at a record high following two years of full-scale Russian war against Ukraine.

Commenting on criticism from former U.S. President Donald Trump of NATO countries not spending enough on defense, Stoltenberg emphasized that "the message had been heard." Evidence of this, he said, is the increase in military expenditures by European allies.

What Trump said

Former U.S. President Donald Trump threatened that if re-elected, he would not defend NATO allies who don't "pay their bills."

He also added that he would, in fact, encourage Russia to attack such countries.

It is worth noting that 31 NATO countries have committed to spending 2% of GDP on defense, but not all have done so individually.