Germany commits 100 billion euros to a special fund for its armed forces, raising defense spending above 2% of GDP.
The Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz said on February 27 that Germany is committing 100 billion euros ($112.7bn) to a special fund for its armed forces, raising its defense spending above 2% of gross domestic product.
In 2020, Germany spent 46 billion euros on its military according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
It accounted for 1.4% of its gross domestic product, much less than the 4.3% in Russia or 3.7% in the United States. Germany’s military spending will become similar to countries like France and the United Kingdom, which respectively invested 2.1% and 2.2% of their GDP in defense forces in 2020.
“It’s clear we need to invest significantly more in the security of our country, in order to protect our freedom and our democracy,” Scholz said during a speech on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in an extraordinary session of the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament.
The move is a significant one for Germany, which has come under criticism from the United States and other NATO allies for not investing adequately in its defense budget.
The move is the latest in a series of major shifts in German defense and security policy in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Saturday evening, the German government announced it would be sending weapons and other supplies directly to Ukraine, which is fighting to keep Russia from invading its capital city. France said it sent 500 troops in Romania two days ago as part of NATO.
As Russia, and high-ranking Russians, was mainly the target of economic sanctions, Ukraine’s invasion also affects Europe’s military landscape in the long term.
In the meantime, President Vladimir Putin put Russian nuclear forces on high alert through a “special regime of combat duty” on Sunday, in response to what he called “aggressive statements” by leading NATO powers, also citing economic sanctions.