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Rishi Sunak calls on NATO allies to extend defence spending | Politics Information

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Rishi Sunak will name on the UK’s NATO allies to decide to spending a minimal of two% of their GDP on defence as he attends an alliance summit in Lithuania.

The prime minister will argue the dedication shall be essential to NATO’s potential to discourage and defend towards the type of techniques Russian President Vladimir Putin has used throughout his invasion of Ukraine.

He’ll argue the two% dedication “have to be a ground not a ceiling”, Quantity 10 stated, and ask allies to channel their efforts into making certain the alliance’s armed forces can reply extra quickly and their defence industries are ready to dramatically scale-up manufacturing in instances of disaster.

Ukraine conflict newest: Erdogan agrees to support Sweden bid to join NATO

Final yr, solely 9 of 30 NATO allies spent at the least 2% of their GDP on defence – one thing the UK has finished yearly because the aspiration was set out almost 20 years in the past.

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“When hundreds of Russian troops crossed the border in February final yr, it marked a grim new chapter in Europe and NATO’s historical past,” Mr Sunak stated.

“Within the 500 days which have elapsed since now we have witnessed probably the most horrible crimes and human tragedies in Ukraine. However now we have additionally seen the NATO alliance come collectively like by no means earlier than in help of Ukraine and with agency dedication that Russia can’t succeed.

“That’s work we have to proceed this week. We can’t let the fog of conflict obscure the clear classes our alliance should be taught if we’re going to outpace and outmanoeuvre those that search to do us hurt.

“That’s the reason the UK is investing file quantities in defence, to make our armed forces extra deadly and extra deployable, and to prepared our defence trade prepared for the challenges forward. And that is one thing we have to see throughout NATO – beginning with assembly the two% dedication.”

Learn extra:
US cluster bombs deal is evident sign that conflict just isn’t going effectively for Ukraine
Sunak ‘discourages’ use of cluster bombs

It’s understood Mr Sunak has 5 key priorities going into the summit, that are:

• To strengthen NATO’s method to deterrence and defence
• To name on NATO allies to decide to spending a minimal of two% of GDP
• To proceed to help Ukraine and agree a type of wording about Kyiv’s future accession to the alliance
• To proceed working in direction of Sweden changing into a full NATO member
• To strengthen the connection between NATO and its key Asia-Pacific companions

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NATO head on Ukraine’s accession

On Monday, the prime minister met Joe Biden in Downing Road, the place the US president praised the closeness of the two countries.

Mr Biden stated he “could not be assembly with a better pal and a higher ally”, whereas Mr Sunak celebrated the US and UK as “two of the firmest allies” in NATO.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak greets US President Joe Biden outside 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of a meeting during his visit to the UK. Picture date: Monday July 10, 2023.

The assembly got here amid experiences of disagreements relating to Ukraine’s ambitions for NATO membership and the US determination to offer Kyiv with cluster munitions – a transfer the UK doesn’t help as a result of it’s signed as much as a world conference to ban the weapons.

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