UK to spend 2.5% of GDP on defense by 2030, Boris Johnson announces | political news

The UK government will spend 2.5% of GDP on defense by 2030, Boris Johnson has announced, while NATO’s secretary general warned the alliance must face up to Vladimir Putin.

Speaking from the NATO Speaking at the conference in Madrid, the prime minister told broadcasters that “we need to invest for the long term in vital capabilities such as future combat air, while at the same time adapting to a more dangerous and competitive world”.

“The logical conclusion from the investments that we are proposing, these decisions, is that we will reach 2.5% of GDP for defense by the end of the decade,” he continued.

The amount amounts to a further £55 billion.

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Mr Johnson said the spending targets set by NATO members a decade ago — with each country promising to spend 2% of GDP on defense — “were then set for a very different era”.

“What we’re saying is we want Jens Stoltenberg, the… [NATO] Secretary General, to begin working on that new goal now – and he has agreed to do so.”

The prime minister added that “the cost of freedom” is “always worth paying”.

“Unless we get the right result in Ukraine, Putin will be able to carry out, with more or less impunity, further acts of aggression against other parts of the former Soviet Union, which will lead to further global uncertainty, further oil shocks, further panic and greater economic distress for the entire world.” he said, warned.

Johnson spoke after NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the increase in troops on the alliance’s eastern flank was to ensure that the Russian president does not misunderstand or misunderstand the allies’ willingness to act.

“We live in the more dangerous world, and we live in the more unpredictable world, and we live in a world where we actually have war going on in Europe with large-scale military operations,” he said.

“We also know that this could get worse because if this becomes a full-scale war between Russia and NATO, we will see damage, death and destruction on this scale, which is much, much worse than what we see in Ukraine.”

There was an ongoing debate in the UK as to whether defense spending should be increased in light of the conflict in Ukraine.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace had urged the Prime Minister earlier this week to increase spending on Britain’s armed forces in response to the war.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s words, a source close to Mr Wallace said: “The Defense Secretary has always been clear that as the threat changes, so must defense spending.

“In 2020, the prime minister has reversed decades of underinvestment in defense and he has rightly responded to Russia’s danger by continuing to invest in defence, for which the defense minister is deeply grateful.”

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NATO in ‘robust health’

Johnson described the NATO alliance as “united” as the Madrid summit drew to a close.

“The NATO alliance is clearly in good health and growing stronger, with new members and a new purpose,” he said.

“We can see our work breaking down… If history is any guide, then I believe this great alliance will be successful again.”

The prime minister also pledged to continue to step up military aid to Kiev and support the country “however difficult it is”.

“It is only logical and right to continue to support Ukraine in the way we are and indeed to continue to increase that military support,” he continued.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said, also at the summit, that NATO is safer now than it was before the Russian invasion began.

When asked how long drivers will have to pay higher gasoline prices during Russia’s war with Ukraine, President Biden replied: “While it lasts.”

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Zelenskyy praises UK for extra military support

Earlier on Thursday, the British government announced it will provide an additional £1 billion in military aid to Ukraine. It brings total British military aid since the outbreak of the war to £2.3 billion – more than any country other than the US.

The prime minister said the extra money will go towards capabilities including advanced air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, innovative new electronic warfare equipment and thousands of essential equipment for Ukrainian soldiers.

On social media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the UK for the additional funds.

In conversation with Sky News this morning, Liz Truss warned NATO members must make it their “absolute priority” to end the war in Ukraine and push Russian troops out of the country – or face a “much less secure Europe”.

Her comments came as Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, told Sky News that World War III has “already begun”.

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