US President Donald Trump called in a letter to Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) for Norway to fulfil NATO’s demand to spend 2% of GDP on defence.
VG has been given access to the letter, dated June 19th, and reported it on Tuesday. Trump and Solberg will meet at the NATO summit in two weeks.
“Norway is the only one of the NATO countries to border on Russia who lack a credible plan to spend 2% of GDP on defence, wrote the US president in the letter.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to explain to US citizens why some countries continue to fail to reach our common security commitments,” Trump wrote from the White House.
Lifting from 2014
NATO countries agreed to use 2% of gross national product (GDP) on defence at the Cardiff Summit in Wales in 2014.
But, like many other NATO countries, Norway is still far away from achieving the goal. Last year, the government used 1.62% of GDP on defence, while it is expected to spend 1.56% this year.
The Ministry of Defence had previously estimated that the GDP ratio for Norway’s part will be in the range of 1.58-1.71% by 2020.
Defence grants were also raised when Solberg held a semi-annual summary on Tuesday. Then she promised to lift the defence grants by 2024, but could not guarantee that Norway would then spend 2% of GDP on the purpose.
“We can not guarantee that we will have reached 2% by 2024,but we will set as a premise for the long-term plan that we will increase spending” said Solberg.
She pointed out that the biggest financial investments in today’s long-term plan have been added to the first four years.Then it flattens out. Solberg pointed to the
unanimous agreement in NATO to aim at each country approaching spending 2% of GDP in 2024.
“We will follow the objective of the Cardiff Summit.
This means that we will see a significant effort also in the period 2021-2024 on lifting defence grants in each state budget.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today