00:13 GMT14 August 2020
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    US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Saturday that President Donald Trump's demands to NATO countries to pay a fair share for the defense are consistent with the messages that the two previous administrations were sending to them.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The requests of US President Donald Trump to NATO member-states to meet their financial obligations imposed by the alliance's membership do not contradict with the messages of the previous US administration under President Barack Obama and George Bush, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told in an interview to the CBS broadcaster.

    The issue of NATO’s funding has been raised repeatedly by Trump’s administration, which stressed all the alliance's members should respect their NATO budget responsibilities. According to the NATO 2014 Wales Summit Declaration, the alliance member states should pursue the target of spending 2 percent of their GDP to funding NATO within a decade.

    “Having been a NATO officer, under President Bush and President Obama and then having been back there in Brussels representing the Department of Defense under President Trump… this is a consistent message that we have given the NATO nations,” Mattis told the broadcaster.

    The US defense secretary underlined that countries are currently spending more funds on the defense than five or ten years ago.

    “They get the best defense in the world, the NATO countries, and we've all got to be willing to deal with it like a bank: if you want to take something out of it you've got to put something into it,"Mattis stressed.

    On Saturday, Trump said that many member states of the alliance agreed to raise their payments under NATO obligations, saying that “money is beginning to pour in — NATO will be much stronger.”

    Only five countries — Estonia, Greece, Poland, the United States and the United Kingdom — currently meet the standard of NATO obligatory financial contribution.


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