NATO Allies Defend Military Spending Amid Trump Criticism



NATO’s European allies are pushing back against U.S. criticism that they are not spending enough on defense, as President Donald Trump ratchets up pressure ahead of a summit next week.

After Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, NATO allies agreed in 2014 to end defense budget cuts, to begin spending more as their economies grew and to move toward a goal of 2 percent of GDP within a decade.

In an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said that “Norway stands by its decision of the NATO Summit in 2014 and is following up on this.”

Ahead of the July 11-12 summit, Trump sent letters to Norway and several other allies demanding that they recommit to military spending.



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