NATO 'Faster, Stronger, More Ready' As Military Alliance Announces £6BILLION Funding Boost

5 July 2016

NATO'S European allies have agreed a defence spending increase worth more than £6billion - a move that will guarantee the military alliance remains "faster and stronger" in the face of Russian aggression.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he expected Canada and NATO's European members to commit to boost their defence budgets - equivalent to a three per cent increase in NATO's total spending power.

The specifics of new funding deals will be hammered out at the upcoming NATO summit in Poland, which will be attended by President Barack Obama and leaders of the 27 other alliance nations.

It comes amid deep uncertainty in Europe after Britain voted to Leave the EU and Russia continues to ring alarm bells in the east.

Mr Stoltenberg said: "The Warsaw summit will renew our commitment to spend more on defence and to spend better.

"We expect a real increase of three per cent in defence spending by European allies and Canada. This amounts to $8bn.

"Twenty-two allies will increase defence spending in real terms, moreover 18 allies will increase defence expenditures devoted to major equipment and research and development."

Only five out of 28 members of the military alliance currently meet the Nato requirement to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence.

They include the UK, Poland, Greece and Estonia as well as the US.

Almost two-dozen countries fail to meet that target, with Canada, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Hungary among the nations barely reaching the one per cent mark.

The US funds 70 per cent of NATO operations and Mr Stolteneberg has said previously that the current funding model is "unsustainable".

The new commitment for a £6bn rise is likely to reassure observers who feared NATO's supremacy in the region could be weakened by a lack of investment from member states.

Meanwhile, defence secretary Michael Fallon said a "sizeable" contingent of British troops will be deployed in Eastern Europe to provide reassurance against Russian aggression.

The deployment will be confirmed at NATO's biennial summit in Warsaw this weekend.

Mr Fallon said: "I shall be with the Prime Minister in Warsaw and we shall be pledging there a commitment to deploy additional troops on the eastern side of Nato as a direct measures of reassurance, particularly to Poland and to the Baltic States, that feel threatened by the Russian build-up and some of the very aggressive moves we have seen from Russia, not least of course in the invasion of Crimea and the continuing insurrection in eastern Ukraine."

He added: "We are going to make the final announcement at the weekend, but you will see a sizeable contingent deployed.

"They have already been out there exercising in both Poland and the Baltic states.

"Our RAF Typhoons are carrying out the Baltic air policing mission at the moment, patrolling the skies over the Baltic, but this will give us a presence on the ground which I hope will reassure our allies, particularly those that have to live and work right next door to Russia."


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