Germany Rejects Trump’s Claim That It Owes NATO and U.S. ‘Vast Sums’ for Defense

Danielle Anzures, Staff Writer

German Defense Minister, Ursula Von der Leyen, denied President Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes “vast sums of money” to NATO and the U.S. for defense. The claim came after a meeting between the US and Germany that was considered to be tense, according to NBC news.

Trump had tweeted March 18 that the meeting with Von der Leyen had gone over well, but then added “nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”

In a statement Von der Leyen said “there is no debt account at NATO,” then added it was wrong to link the alliance’s target for members to spend two percent of their economic output on defense by 2024 to NATO only, reported Reuters. “Defense spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism,” said Von der Leyen.

Von der Leyen also added that for the burden to be shared equally that it was necessary to have a “modern security concept” that would not only include modern NATO, but also European defense union and investment in the United Nations.

Ivo Daalder, a former permanent representative to NATO between 2009 to 2013, responded to Trump’s tweets saying, “Sorry, Mr. President, that’s not how Nato works.” Daalder also added it was up to the U.S. to decide how much they want to spend on defending NATO, then went on to say, “This is not a financial transaction, where NATO countries pay the U.S. to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment,” as reported by the Guardian.

 

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