Would the USA come to help Slovakia? Kallasová: Let Trump’s statements be a warning

Recent comments by US presidential candidate Donald Trump regarding the North Atlantic Alliance should be a warning to NATO members who are not investing enough in defense. According to the Reuters agency, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said this today.


Members of the NATO Multinational Battlegroup operating in Slovakia during an exercise in Lešt on June 26, 2023.

Trump’s statements should also warn Slovakia, which spends only the minimum agreed upon by the allies, i.e. two percent of GDP, on defense. In 2023, the amount was 2.45 billion euros, with a year-on-year increase of 609 million euros. Defense expenditures of 2.01 percent of GDP are also planned for 2024 and 2025. They are thus in line with the political commitment in NATO to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense by 2024.

At the same time, in 2014, Slovakia’s defense expenditures amounted to only 752 million euros (0.98% of GDP). From 2015 until 2021, they gradually grew to 889 million (1.11% of GDP), 907 (1.12%), 935 (1.10%) 1.098 billion euros (1.22% of GDP), 1.610 (1. 7%), 1.796 (1.92%) and 1.746 (1.77%), according to official NATO data.

Trump, who is running for the Republican nomination for president, caused a stir over the weekend when he said that under his leadership, the US would not come to the aid of NATO countries in the event of an attack by Russia, if they did not give enough money for their own defense.

Newly elected Finnish President Alexander Stubb said today that his country should stay calm and focus on its NATO membership, despite Trump’s remarks about the alliance. “The American election campaign is very different from the Finnish election, and the rhetoric there is much stronger,” Stubb noted. He also emphasized that Finland spends more than the required two percent of GDP on defense.

Borrell: NATO cannot be an ‘a la carte’ alliance

The head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, said on Monday that NATO cannot be a military alliance dependent on the whims of the US president. “NATO cannot be an ‘a la carte’ military alliance … dependent on the humor of the president of the United States,” Borrell said Monday, using the term for any choice of food from a restaurant menu.

In the years 2017 to 2021, when he was president, Trump pushed hard for the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance to fulfill their commitment to spend at least two percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense.

“I believe that the statements of the American presidential candidate were supposed to wake up some allies who have not done much yet,” said Kallasová.

NATO Strong Cohesion 2022 certification exercise...
NATO Strong Cohesion 2022 certification exercise...

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