The Slovenia Times

NATO Boss Urges Adequate Defence Spending


Stoltenberg also mentioned Slovenia's role in Afghanistan and praised the country's efforts in the Western Balkans.

The pair moreover discussed investments in defence, where Slovenia is at the bottom of the member states list with 2% of the defence budget.

NATO's goal is that 20% of the defence budget is spent on investment and Stoltenberg stressed that the joint defence provided by NATO is not free of cost.

He also pointed to the budget commitments made by members at the Wales summit and Cerar said Slovenia would honour them.

Until the economic and financial situation is difficult, the government will try to prevent further cuts to defence spending. When the situation improves it will gradually increase it, while it will adjust the budget structure in the meantime to meet urgent challenges, the prime minister announced.

The two also touched on NATO's plans for a spearhead rapid reaction force in response to the Ukraine crisis and Cerar expressed a readiness to contribute but added that an indepth debate would first be needed in Slovenia.

Cerar moreover warned against NATO neglecting the Western Balkans, highlighting the importance of NATO's open doors policy and announcing Slovenia will continue to actively push for a membership invitation to Montenegro in 2015.

Cerar's visit was the first ever official visit by a Slovenian prime minister at NATO's headquarters and the secretary general said he valued Cerar coming so soon after taking over.

After the meeting, the prime minister also made a stop at Slovenia's permanent NATO representation office, where he said that there is too little appreciation in Slovenia of all those who contribute to its defence.


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