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Defense expenditure should be raised to 2.5 percent of GDP

Defense expenditure should be raised to 2.5 percent of GDP

The British government wants to increase its defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by the end of the decade. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said this on Tuesday when he joined NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in front of British troops stationed in Poland. NATO has set a target of two percent of economic output for its members' defense spending.

British spending is currently reported at around 2.3 per cent. According to Sunak, an additional 75 billion pounds (about 87 billion euros) will be invested in defense over the next six years. “Today is a turning point for Europe's security and a milestone for Britain's security.” So says the British head of government, who must face his last parliamentary election by January 2025.

In opinion polls, Sunak's Tories are far behind the opposition Labor Party. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised Britain's 2.5 percent target. “Once again, Great Britain sets a good example,” Stoltenberg said. The British commitment points in the right direction.

He also insisted on showing the US that Europe is contributing to NATO. Prior to the visit to Warsaw, the British government had announced a massive military aid package for Ukraine. Among other things, Britain wants to send Kiev armored vehicles, missiles and boats worth 500 million pounds (about 580 million euros).

Cunak traveled to Poland on Tuesday with Finance Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Defense Secretary Grant Schabbs. In the afternoon he wants to hold talks with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Tusk earlier said the visit by the NATO chief and the British prime minister was a further continuation of his work to expand Poland's position in defense policy.

EU and NATO member Poland is one of Ukraine's closest allies, which is being attacked by Russia. Sunak is expected to hold talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Wednesday. It is the first visit to Germany for the conservative politician who will be in power until 2022.