Germany to Raise Defense Spending Over 2%, F-35 Purchase on the Horizon

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, German government decided to raise military spending over 2% of its GDP, Scholz said in his speech on the Ukraine crisis at Bundestag. Germany also halted the Nord Stream 2 project last week and agreed to send weapons to Ukraine. The government has been criticized by its Western allies of being too soft towards Russia.

Scholz said in his Bundestag speech that Germany has to invest more in security to protect its democracy and freedom. Germany has long resisted pressure from the United States and other allies to raise its defense spending to 2% of GDP.

Germany is thought to spend 1.53% of its GDP on defense in 2021. Scholz said the government decided to allocate €100 billion for military spending from 2022 budget. Germany’s total defense budget for 2021 was €47 billion.

Germany also plans to buy Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. to replace its aging fleet of Tornado planes, Scholz added. However Scholz underlined that the next generation of fighter jets and tanks must be built in Europe jointly with European partners, particularly with France.

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