The German Government today rejected again the repeated reproaches of the USA. on a supposed lack of commitment to NATO and insisted that the country maintains the marked goal of increasing defense spending.
"It hurts an ally to question the commitments made by Germany," said the defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, during the debate of the Bundestag on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance.
The minister, from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), added that Germany intends to increase the Defense budget to reach 2024 in 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) -at present it is at 1.35% - and that maintains the goal of progressively raising it to 2%.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Niels Annen, of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), recalled that Germany has participated since 2014 in all actions directed by NATO, which means participating "in its costs".
Annen regretted that Russia has "detached" from any cooperation with the Atlantic Alliance, which in his view materialized "at the latest with the annexation of Crimea", to allude in addition to the fundamental role that should have Moscow to tackle the Syrian conflict or the fight against cyber attacks.
The interventions of Von der Leyen and Annen followed the accusations made yesterday by the vice president of the USA, Mike Pence, according to which Germany does not attend as it should to the threat that Russia represents for the interests of NATO.
"It is unacceptable that Europe's biggest economy ignores the threat posed by Russia," Pence said at a conference during the NATO ministerial meeting in Washington this week.
Pence stressed that it is necessary to join "all" members of the Atlantic Alliance to face the "business" that is to face the Government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We can not guarantee the security of the West if our allies are increasingly dependent on Russia," said Pence, who said that if "persist" in the construction of the pipeline Nord Stream 2, which will join Russia and Germany through the sea Baltic, Berlin will end up being "captive" of Moscow.
As President Donald Trump has repeatedly done, Pence also accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's executive of not giving the alliance what it deserves.
"Many more countries are now fulfilling their commitments, but others are not and, as we all know, Germany is the main one," Pence said, insisting that "Germany has to do more."
According to an Alliance report published on March 14, European allies increased military spending by 5.19% in 2018 over the previous year, but only seven countries devoted 2% of their GDP to defense: United States , the United Kingdom, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Greece and Estonia.