According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg, the alliance may decide to aim to spend more on defence than their current target of two percent of national output when they meet for their next summit in Vilnius in July 2023.
The NATO head mentioned keeping the targeted two percent national output allocated to defence, but as a floor rather than a ceiling, he is positive that the incentive to increase defensive capabilities is stronger than ever in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In response to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, NATO leaders pledged to reverse the trend of declining defence budgets, with allies agreeing to spend at
at least two percent of economic output on defence from 2024. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year, many allies have increased their military spending.
During the NATO parliamentary meeting Stoltenburg also warned against creating new dependencies on China, as Chinese efforts to control the alliance’s critical infrastructures, supply chains and key industrial sectors increased.
He argued that the alliance cannot give authoritarian regimes any chance to exploit its vulnerabilities and undermine the integrity of the alliance.