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NATO's 2% GDP Military Spending 'Enormous Effort' for France – Defense Minister

© REUTERS / Jonathan ErnstGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) speaks beside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and NATO members leaders at the start of the NATO summit at their new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) speaks beside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and NATO members leaders at the start of the NATO summit at their new headquarters in Brussels, Belgium - Sputnik International
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Higher military spending aimed at meeting NATO's two percent GDP target is "an enormous effort" for France, French Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard said Monday.

PARIS (Sputnik) — During the NATO summit of heads of states and governments, which took place in Brussels on Thursday, US president Donald Trump criticized member states for "not paying enough" for their own security. The summit decided to implement fairer burden sharing when it comes to financing the alliance.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shake hands during a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 12, 2017. - Sputnik International
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"It is an enormous effort asked from the nation, which will probably mean cuts in other spheres. We are already struggling with a considerable debt," Goulard told Radio France.

The minister explained that the claim made by US president Donald Trump, who said that European countries do not carry a fair share of spending in NATO, was reasonable.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the apparent attack in Manchester, England, before his remarks alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem May 23, 2017. - Sputnik International
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"It is true that the United States has been for a long time investing in European security. Now 70 percent of the NATO budget comes from the United States. For the French people, who have always fought for autonomous European defense, that is also a positive evolution, because it will probably make certain countries who were reluctant to invest in NATO make a decision beneficial for us," the defense minister said.

Goulard added that France is an important guarantee of European security, but needs to work together with other European countries in order to counter newly emerging threats.

"We are facing the new threat, which is terrorism, but also cyberattacks, and this is a vast field on which we can see European cooperation evolve in all its forms of action, bilaterally with the Germans, trilateral, multilateral talks with another states. I have absolutely no intention to desert the European corner," Goulard noted.

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