Quarrels for money dismal NATO summit talks
Leaders decided to invite Macedonia to start accession talksMaria Koleva , Brussels
As expected, the sound discord on money matters appeared even prior to inception of the official programme of the NATO summit that was kicked off in the pact’s new building in Brussels in the early afternoon. We have had discussions, we do have disagreements, but most importantly we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told media after the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of presidents and prime ministers.
He underscored that the leaders agreed to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence, step up the role in the fight against terrorism and share the burden of the security more fairly. I really welcome that many leaders have made announcements about new contributions to a whole range of NATO missions and initiatives, he emphasized without giving more details on this topic debates.
During the session have been agree the “Four thirties” initiative that foresees by 2020 the pact should have 30 mechanised battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels, ready to use within 30 days or less.On the update of the NATO Command Structure, allies adopted plan for more than 1,200 new personnel and new commands for the Atlantic – in Norfolk, Virginia in Ulm, Germany, for support and logistics.
Also during the first day working session were adopted plans to set up new counter-hybrid support teams that will support member countries in areas like cyber defence, counter-propaganda, and energy security. A new Cyber Operations Centre will be established as well.
Instability in the Middle East and North Africa affects NATO allies and we are determined to preserve our gains in the fight against ISIS and prevent them from coming back, Stoltenberg said, announcing that today leaders launched a new training non-combat mission in Iraq, which was requested by the Iraqi government. The mission will be led by Canada. The support for Jordan and Tunisia was increased to further develop their capacities to tackle terrorism and the NATO hub for the South fully operational.
Leaders also decided to invite Macedonia to start accession talks.
On the money side, Stoltenberg pointed that all participants agreed “that we do not have fair burden-sharing in our alliance today that we need more cash in national defence budgets and more modern capabilities and more contributions to missions and operations.” He also urged that all allies are increasing defence spending. “This year, 8 of our nations have committed to devote at least 2% of GDP on defence and a majority of allies have plans to do so by 2024.”
During his working breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, US President Donald Trump touched upon the topic with biting comments about the unfair sharing of the NATO bill. “It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”
"So we’re protect you against Russia, but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate", Trump asserted. Ultimately, Germany will have almost 70 percent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas, he continued stressing that Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent, whereas the US, in actual numbers, is paying 4.2 percent of a much larger GDP.
On her arrival, German Chancellor Angela Merkel retaliated to Trump’s words, saying that Germany does a lot for NATO and that her country is the second largest contributor of troops for NATO military and also mentioned the strong commitment Germany has in Afghanistan. Such way we also defend the interests of the United States, she told reporters.