NATO's Stoltenberg expects allies to lift defence spending target

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a statement before a meeting with EU Commissioners in Brussels, Belgium, January 11, 2023.REUTERS/Johanna Geron

BERLIN, Jan 25 (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expects the alliance's member states to raise their current spending target on defence of 2% of national output when they meet for a summit in Vilnius in July, he told German newspaper Die Welt.

"I assume that there will be a new target for defence spending when we meet for the NATO summit in Vilnius in July this year," Stoltenberg told Welt.

"The two percent target was initially for a decade, so until 2024, so we have to update it now."

Stoltenberg said he could not yet say what the member states would agree on. "But I assume that it will be a more ambitious target than before, because everybody sees that we need to invest more," he added.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February last year, many allies have increased their military spending.

Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Kirsti Knolle

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