NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg provided an explanation as to why the North Atlantic Alliance was continuing to ramp up its defence spending even though the combined spending was already an estimated 20 times higher than that of Russia, APA reports citing Sputnik.
“When it comes to these figures and numbers, we are an effective alliance and we have effective armies, but the cost level is much higher, reflecting just a higher standard of living,” Stoltenberg said, speaking at a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday.
“If you compare salaries and costs across NATO allies and Russia, of course their [NATO’s] cost levels are higher. And therefore, when you compare these budgets at market prices, and common currencies, then you get those conclusions you are referring to, but that doesn’t reflect less efficiency. But it reflects, to a large extent, differences in cost levels,” the secretary general added.
According to Stoltenberg, the NATO alliance will continue to “invest as much as needed to make sure that we have credible deterrence and defence.”
The NATO chief’s remarks follow comments he made late last month, where he explained that although the alliance already spent over $1 trillion on defence in 2018, and was planning to spend an additional $100 billion in 2020, the alliance needed to “keep up our efforts” to increase budgets further still, including by assuring that all members committed the necessary 2 percent of GDP or more to defence.