Stoltenberg urges NATO to double defense spending by 2023
The EU is in dire straits amid a gas and cost-of-living crisis, but NATO's Secretary General wants to increase defense spending by next year.
In an interview with Politico, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed hope on Friday for NATO members to commit in 2023 to increase defense spending. "I expect that NATO allies will at the summit in Vilnius next year make a clear commitment to invest more in defense," Stoltenberg stated.
Although he declared that the form of agreement is still unknown, he singled out both Russia and China as "threats", after recalling the decision taken by NATO to designate Beijing as a challenge for the organization in the long-term strategy document.
Stoltenberg urged participants at the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid in June to declare Russia to be a "threat to peace and stability" in the new alliance's Strategic Concept.
"[It is] important for NATO allies to stand together and to address the consequences of the rise of China — and that we agree on, and that’s exactly what we are doing," Stoltenberg added.
According to Politico, even though it is unanimously agreed upon among NATO countries to discuss China, the matter of damages and costs of implementing these measures have still not been discussed.
Russia has been the center of NATO aggressive rhetoric, as Stoltenberg considered that the next referenda on joining Russia will be viewed as "illegitimate" and the international community should denounce them.
"Sham referendums have no legitimacy & do not change the nature of #Russia’s war of aggression against #Ukraine. This is a further escalation in Putin’s war. The international community must condemn this blatant violation of international law & step up support for Ukraine," Stoltenberg tweeted.