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NATO allies agree to spend “at least 2%“ of their GDP on defence -diplomats

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Flags flutter during a flag-raising ceremony for Finland’s accession at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 4, 2023. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool/File Photo

NATO allies have reached agreement to raise the alliance’s target for military spending to at least 2% of national GDP, two diplomats told Reuters late on Friday.

The 31 allies agreed on “an enduring commitment to invest at least 2%” of their GDP into their militaries in the future, two diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity and confirming an earlier report by German news agency DPA.

Agreement on the new spending target was one of the outstanding issues ahead of a two-day NATO summit on Tuesday and Wednesday next week in Vilnius.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg intended to make NATO’s current military spending target of 2% of national GDP a minimum requirement rather than a goal to aim for.

In 2023, even the old target will be met by only 11 of the 31 members of the alliance, according to NATO estimates. The goal was set in 2014, when NATO leaders agreed to increase spending towards 2% of their GDP on defence within a decade.

The 11 allies in question are the United States, Britain, Poland, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Latvia and Slovakia.

Bringing up the rear are Canada, Slovenia, Turkey, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, whose defence spending was under 1.4% of GDP.

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