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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

23 NATO Members Raise Defense Spending

A record 23 of NATO’s 32 member nations are hitting the Western military alliance’s defense spending target this year, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, as Russia’s war in Ukraine has raised the threat of expanding conflict in Europe, Ellen Knickmeyer and Seung Min Kim reported for the Associated Press (AP).

The surge in spending reflects the worries about the war in Ukraine. I Photo: NATO Facebook

The estimated figure is a nearly fourfold increase from 2021, when only six nations were meeting the goal. That was before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“Europeans are doing more for their collective security than just a few years ago,” Stoltenberg said in a speech at the Wilson Center research group. After the speech, Stoltenberg met at the White House with President Joe Biden.

The US president said the alliance has become “larger, stronger and more united than it’s ever been” during Stoltenberg’s tenure.

NATO members agreed last year to spend at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defense. The surge in spending reflects the worries about the war in Ukraine.

Poland, at more than 4%, and tiny Estonia both lead the US this year in the percentage of their GDP they spend on defense. Both countries border Russia. Defense spending across European allies and Canada was up nearly 18% this year alone, the biggest increase in decades, according to NATO’s estimated figures released Monday.


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