German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday rejected US President Donald Trump’s claim that Berlin owes NATO “vast sums of money” meant for defence.
“There is no account where debts are registered with NATO,” Von der Leyen, replied in a statement. She also said that the country’s NATO spending should not be used to measure Germany’s military contributions.
Trump on Saturday tweeted that “Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO and the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”
He tweeted this, a day after he met Germany’s Vice Chancellor, Angela Merkel in Washington, where the both of them didn’t fully agree on certain issues which include NATO and defence spending.
Germany currently spends 1.2 percent of its GDP on defence.
Von der Leyen said on Sunday, that Germany’s increased military budget would benefit NATO, UN and European peacekeeping missions especially in the fight against the Islamic State extremists.