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NATO chief slams Trump’s threat to abandon allies

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the commitment of all NATO members to collective defense and deterrence, saying that any attempt to weaken the Alliance would backfire.
nato secretary general jens stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, an illustrative image/ Source: Getty Images
NATO chief slams Trump’s threat to abandon allies

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented on US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent statements in which he questioned the US intention to defend other NATO allies, the European Pravda reported.

During an election rally in South Carolina (USA) on 10 February 2024, Donald Trump said that he would encourage Russians to do whatever they want to any NATO member country that does not meet spending guidelines on defense and would not abide by NATO’s collective defense clause if reelected.

Ahead of the meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on 14 February, Jens Stoltenberg assured that all NATO countries are committed to common defense.

“NATO’s idea and focus is to prevent war. Any suggestion that we will not defend each other undermines our security. My message is that there is no need to undermine our deterrence system. We have no doubt about our readiness to defend our allies,” Jens Stoltenberg said.

Commenting on Donald Trump’s recent controversial statements, Stoltenberg said that “NATO has been able to prevent an attack on the Alliance for 75 years” and that all current NATO governments are now emphasizing the inviolability of the principle of common defense.

According to Stoltenberg, the main strength of the Alliance is the principle of deterrence, which is based on the fact that adversaries are confident in a joint NATO response in the event of an attack on any member. Abandoning this principle destroys the Alliance’s strength, Stoltenberg said.

According to NATO’s Article Five, if a NATO ally is the victim of an armed attack, every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take action to assist the ally attacked.

Each NATO member state is obliged to invest 2 percent of its GDP in defense. However, according to Stoltenberg, more than half of NATO members do not meet this criterion and fail to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense.

At the same time, the NATO Secretary General announced a record increase in NATO defense spending over the past years and said that since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the Alliance has been on a course to increase spending. In the ten years of Russia’s war against Ukraine, many NATO member states have reached spending over 2% of GDP on defense, Jens Stoltenberg stated.

“Since the Allies committed to investing [in their defense – ed.] in 2014, European Allies and Canada have increased defense spending by more than $600 billion. Last year, we saw an unprecedented 11% increase in spending by European Allies and the United States,” Stoltenberg said. “In 2024, NATO Allies in Europe will spend $380 billion on defense. This will exceed 2% of their total GDP for the first time. I expect 18 NATO allies to spend 2% of GDP this year. This is also a record. This is a six-fold increase since 2014 when only three allies met this requirement,” Stoltenberg added.

At present, NATO has 31 member countries, including the United States. NATO was created by 12 countries from Europe and North America on 4 April 1949.


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