23:54 GMT15 June 2021
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    Germany’s defense industry uses a perceived threat from Russia to justify military spending, a German lawmaker told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov – After a downward trend in recent years to 1.3 percent of its gross domestic product, Germany disclosed plans earlier this year to drastically increase its defense budget over the next five years.

    Alexander Neu, member of the German parliament (Bundestag) from the left-wing Die Linke party and member of the Bundestag Defense Committee, says the country’s weapons industry "wants to make business."

    "They use the Russia argument to get money for their weapons."

    Germany spent 31.55 billion euros ($34.75 billion at the current exchange rate) in 2011, pledging to boost its spending to 34.2 billion ($37.68 billion) in 2016 and then to 35 billion ($38.56 billion) by 2019.

    "It is much too high. If we increase it [military budget] to 2 percent of GDP, it will be almost 60 billion euro. It’s completely crazy."

    The goal of maintaining a 2-percent-of-GDP ratio mandated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was reaffirmed at its September 2014 Wales Summit.

    Collective defense is one of the central commitments of the military alliance, which shifted its view of Russia to a belligerent instead of a partner in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict.

    NATO and its Western allies claim that Russia is directly involved in the Ukrainian government’s military operation against Donbass independence militias, while Russia asserts it is Kiev’s internal matter and has no stake.

    Moscow views NATO’s expanding membership and buildup toward Russia’s western frontier, in addition to plans to deploy nuclear missiles in Europe and station heavy weapons in the Baltics, as a threat to international security.

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    Tags:
    NATO, GDP, Russia, Germany
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