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NATO chief vows to ‘push hard’ for increased defense spending

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that he will 'push hard' at the upcoming NATO leaders' summit for a 'much stronger commitment' to defense spending than the current requirement of 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP). During a conversation at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit along with former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Jens Stoltenberg stressed that he hoped 'in Vilnius, we will be able to agree on a much stronger commitment' where the 2% of GDP is perceived as a 'floor and minimum' not 'as a ceiling.' Stoltenberg, who joined the event by a video link, vowed to 'push hard for a consensus as we live in a more dangerous world that demands more defense investment." He also said that once agreed upon, NATO countries should implement it 'immediately,' not 'waiting for decades' to increase the defense spending. He also mentioned that NATO heads of state and government are expected to adopt a 'multi-year assistance package' to transform the Ukrainian army from Soviet-era to modern NATO standards. Leaders of South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia will also participate in the NATO summit slated to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11-12.

Source: Anadolu Agency