NATO: Slovenia’s Spending Commitments Remain Unchanged

By , 12 Jul 2018, 18:23 PM News
NATO: Slovenia’s Spending Commitments Remain Unchanged Slovenia at NATO's Twitter feed

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STA, 12 July 2018 - Prime Minister Miro Cerar said after the last day of talks on defence spending at the NATO summit that Slovenia had made no new promises but was sticking to its commitments from the past. "Our commitments remain the same. We are economical and reliable. We promise only what we can actually keep," he said. 

Cerar reiterated that in the coming years, Slovenia would need to make an effort to reach the goal of allocating 2% of GDP to defence even faster.

"We've all committed to this and we must play this game fairly," said Cerar, adding that no leader had made any concrete commitments today.

US President Donald Trump said today that NATO was "much stronger now than it was two days ago" and that the attitude to the US was fairer, because the allies were ready to significantly increase their defence spending.

Cerar noted that while the process of raising defence spending would need to be intensified, the country's public finance capabilities and the needs of society in general would also need to be taken into consideration.

Cerar also rejected unofficial reports that Trump threatened the US will leave NATO, saying that the US president had only strongly emphasised the need to increase defence spending.

Commenting on Trump's call for raising defence spending from 2% of GDP to 4%, Cerar said it was merely an idea and not a binding goal. It is crucial to reach the 2% goal, he said.

The allies committed to come as close as possible to the 2% goal by 2024. This year, eight countries are expected to reach the goal and by 2024 their number is to rise to 17. Slovenia, which allocates 1% of GDP for defence is among the countries with the lowest defence spending.

Cerar explained that Slovenia had exited the crisis in the last four years and started to increase funds for modernisation of the army. Last year alone, defence spending was up by 10%, he noted.

But because of the high economic growth the nominal increase in the spending is not notable when presented as a percentage of GDP.

By 2023 Slovenia's defence spending will be 60% higher than in 2017, he said.

Cerar also pointed to Slovenia's presence in NATO's missions and operations, saying that the country enjoyed the reputation of a responsible member that successfully participates in missions and operations in Latvia, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

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