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Trump says Norway Lacks ‘Credible’ Defense Spending Plan: Letter


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Trump says Norway Lacks ‘Credible’ Defense Spending Plan: Letter

Business

Category: Defense / Security

Norway, which shares an Arctic border with Russia, lacks a “credible plan” how to meet NATO’s spending target, U.S. President Donald Trump said in a letter to the country’s prime minister, the Norwegian daily VG reported on Tuesday.

Oil-rich Norway has committed to buy more than 50 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin as part of efforts to beef up its air forces, and contributed troops to NATO’s mission in the Baltics, but Norway should do more, Trump was quoted as saying.

“Norway … remains the only NATO ally sharing a border with Russia that lacks a credible plan to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense,” Trump said in the June 19 letter, a copy of which was published on VG’s website.

He said he expected to see “a strong commitment” from Norway, what he called the Alliance’s “eyes and ears” on the northern flank, at the NATO summit in July.

This year, Norway plans to spend 1.56 percent of gross domestic product, down from 1.62 percent in 2017.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a regular new conference on Tuesday the country aimed to strive toward the 2 percent target, reiterating the government’s position and without providing any deadlines.

“We will stop the decline … and we will move towards 2 percent by 2024,” Solberg later told Norwegian broadcaster NRK, referring to Trump’s letter.

Source: Reuters & VG

Published: December 17, 2018