19:29 GMT +312 December 2019
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    London Refutes IISS Report on UK Spending Not Meeting NATO Requirements

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    The UK Defense Ministry refuted a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) which said the United Kingdom failed to meet the NATO requirements concerning defense spending.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the IISS presented an annual analysis of the world's military capabilities, which revealed that only Greece and Estonia met the NATO criteria of spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense, while the United Kingdom's spending dropped to 1.98 percent.

    "These figures are wrong: Nato's own figures clearly show that the UK spends over 2 per cent of its GDP on defence," the Defense Ministry's spokesman said, as quoted by The Telegraph newspaper.

    The spokesman noted the the UK defense budget was considered to be the second largest in NATO and is growing every year, "as we invest £178 billion [almost $222 billion] in new equipment and the UK steps up globally, with new ships, submarines and aircraft over the next decade."

    In November 2016, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May that Britain was playing a leading role in NATO by meeting the alliance’s commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, "contributing troops to deterrence measures in Eastern Europe." The parties agreed to encourage NATO allies to meet the two-percent level and increase defense spending.

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    International Institute for Stragetic Studies (IISS), NATO, UK Ministry of Defence, Britain
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