German minister to ERR: Defense spending to rise to 2 percent of GDP

Boris Pistorius talking to ERR Monday.
Boris Pistorius talking to ERR Monday. Source: ERR

Germany's Minister of Defense Boris Pistorius told ERR Monday that his country will be boosting defense spending at a time when the defense industry in the European Union's largest nation is boosting output volumes, both to meet the union's needs and those of Ukraine.

This means that Germany's annual defense budget will be 2 percent of GDP per annum, starting from 2024.

Talking to ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Monday, Minister Pistorius said: "We will meet the 2 percent already next year by spending the special fund together with my original budget, and we will of course reach that purpose, that aim of 2 percent from next year on, and I think we will even increase it during the next years, but there's still a way to go."

As to interviewer Joakim Klementi's noting that while critics suggest Germany is perhaps preparing itself for distant conflict, Estonia and other Eastern Flank nations are preparing to defend their own ground inch by inch, Pistorius said: "I don't understand that question because a couple of weeks ago I announced that we would build up a brigade in Lithuania; closer than that is not possible – this is not a long-distance war or a preparation for something that might happen a thousand or two thousand kilometers away. We are preparing and we are willing to take our responsibility in terms of the eastern flank, in terms of the protection of the eastern flank, and together with our eastern NATO allies."

The German defense minister made his comments in the context of an agreement signed Monday by Estonia and Latvia for the acquisition of InfraRed Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T SLM) medium range infrared homing surface-to-air missiles from German firm Diehl Defense, at a price tag of close to €400 million, the largest defense contract signed by Estonia to date.

An agreement of intent to cooperate with Germany in the development of a common European air defense system was also signed Monday.

Estonia's defense spending is 2.5 percent of GDP per annum.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Joakim Klementi.

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