NATO’s Stoltenberg warns Europe against going it alone on defense


by Andrew Gray and Johnny Cotton

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Europe on Wednesday against trying to go it alone on defense after Donald Trump’s comments sparked new debate over whether the continent can rely on security from the United States. Can continue to do.

“The EU cannot defend Europe. Eighty percent of NATO’s defense spending comes from non-EU NATO allies,” Stoltenberg, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, told Reuters in an interview.

Stoltenberg said it is clear that Europe’s security depends not only on Europe but also on other NATO members such as the United States, Canada, Turkey, Norway and Iceland.

“If you look at the map, it’s clear that all these countries, non-EU allies, are vital to the security of Europe,” he said.

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He said that “any attempt to divide Europe from North America will also divide Europe”. Many European nations, particularly in Eastern Europe, view the US as their primary security guarantor and will resist any move to replace it.

Trump, the former US president and frontrunner to become the Republican nominee in this year’s presidential election, sharply criticized Western leaders for telling NATO members that the US would not defend those who failed to spend enough on defense. Failed and will also encourage them. Russia will attack them.

Many European politicians said Trump’s comments were a warning and should serve as an inspiration for Europe to do more to be able to protect itself.

Stoltenberg said European NATO members need to do more to build defense capabilities and that they are doing so. But he said this should happen within the transatlantic framework.

Earlier on Wednesday, he had said that European allies would invest $380 billion in the defense sector this year, taking their spending to an estimated 2% of total GDP in 2024, compared to 1.85% in 2023.

(Reporting by Andrew Gray and Jonny Cotton; Editing by Charlotte Van Campenhout and Mark Heinrich)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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