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NATO chief: US allies to spend $12 billion more this year

28 June 2017

"I welcome the strong focus of President Trump on defense spending and burden sharing, because it is important that we deliver", Stoltenberg said Wednesday.

Stoltenberg said the "attack in May and this week just underlines the importance of strengthening our cyber defenses and that is what we are doing".

'After years of decline, in 2015 we saw a real increase in defence spending across European allies and Canada. this year, we foresee an even greater real increase of 4.3 per cent, ' he told a news conference.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday announced that defense spending across the alliance is expected to grow in 2017.

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Ryan led a bipartisan delegation in April to meet with top North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders during a trip to Norway, Poland, Estonia and the United Kingdom amid rising tensions with Russian Federation over its meddling in the USA presidential election a year ago.

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Stoltenberg said the higher spending by Europe and Canada, some $280 billion this year, was NATO's way of showing Washington that the United States had reliable allies, after Trump repeatedly questioned the alliance's worth and only this month publicly committed to its mutual defence pledge. Spending growth was 1.8 pct in 2015 and 3.3 percent previous year, although it was unclear how near that takes members to the target.

"This means, over the last three years, European Allies and Canada spent nearly 46 billion United States dollars more on defense".

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He said the turnaround in spending came in 2015, predating U.S. leader Donald Trump's call for European Union allies to do more.

NATO's secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has insisted that the defense alliance's commitment to support each other militarily is just as crucial for US security as it is for that of Europe and Canada. Instead, he used a speech there to demand that member states pay more for the alliance's defense.

The three Baltics, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as Poland, are also the biggest benefactors of NATO's updated posture on its eastern flank, deploying four multi-national battalions between them. He said US military deployments to NATO's eastern European countries will last until at least 2020 and noted that Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget request calls for a 42 percent increase for European military spending.

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