Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that Germany needs to increase its defense spending considerably. The official also claimed that Berlin cannot rely on the US and EU as the latter is unable to defend itself. Is Germany siding with Russia?
Germany Sides with Russia?
Germany may just be on the side of Russia as tensions with NATO continue to rise. There has been widespread criticism of NATO exercises in Eastern Europe. In fact, Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is trying to put some sense into the situation which many has considered provocations to Russia.
“Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the [NATO] alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken,” said Steinmeier to Bild am Sontag – one of Germany’s leading and most influential newspapers.
According to RT, Steinmeier also sheds light to how Western leaders still follow an ideology that is deeply rooted to the Washington-driven Cold War paradigm. It is as though some of the world powers are still in a time-warp. Rather than just Russia supposedly threatening world powers, there are more imminent enemies like terrorists and extremist groups.
Germany to Boost Defense
As if to emphasize the Germany’s reluctance to dabble in the European tensions with Russia, Merkel said during an economics conference in Berlin on Tuesday that EU cannot depend on the United States in dealing with external threats.
“Sure enough this means that a country like Germany, which today spends around 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense, and the United States, which spends 3.4 percent of GDP for defense will have to converge,” RT quoted Merkel in a related report. The chancellor also emphasized that Berlin will not do well in the long run if it will rely on others for their defense.
In fact, in the previous month, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that Germany will be expanding in army since the Cold War. For the next few years, around 14,300 soldiers are expected to be recruited along with 7,000 new troops to be hired during the first wave. There should also be around 4,400 new civilian personnel that will work with the new force.