NATO countries split on idea of increasing military spendings
Last Thursday, during NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the presence of the NATO fleet in the Black Sea will be strengthened. There will be more NATO naval groups, soldiers of eight countries of the allience will form multinational brigade in Romania, and other five countries will support new military formation by creating infrastructure and logistics. In addition, NATO's military spendings will also be increased.
Meanwhile, according to the program director of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, Ivan Timofeev, during the press conference after the meeting NATO Secretary General noted that spendings of the alliance were already increased by a little over 3%: "He presents it as a significant growth - 10 billion dollars. But in reality, these changes are just symbolic. Compared to the US defense budget of more than 600 billion it's like a drop in the sea. There were ideas of increasing NATO's defense spendings even before Trump. But it's one thing when countries do it separately, and another when everyone have to follow this 2% bar. Some countries can afford 2%. Others don't. Italian journalists asked Stoltenberg: "What about Italy? We have budget deficit." He told them: well, guys, you have to endure it."
According to the expert, NATO countries are split on the idea of increasing military spendings: "There are countries that believe that conflict with Russia is not in their interests. Italy, for example, understands that it faces very serious challenges from the South. How can the increase in defense spendings help to defend against these threats? Is it somehow connected or not? It's also an issue of domestic politics, after all, Stoltenberg has no responsibility before Italian and Greek voters. Leaders of these countries will be responsible. They are in the most difficult position - they have to meet NATO requirements, and meet the expectations of their voters at the same time."
The expert expressed hope that the growth in spendings won't be extreme: "Europe usually plays stabilizing role, it's spendings never were too high. I hope this situation won't change."