Berlin: German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday rejected US President Donald Trump’s claim that Germany owes Nato and the United States “vast sums” of money for defense. “There is no debt account at Nato,” Ms von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that it was wrong to link the alliance’s target for members to spend 2 per cent of their economic output on defense by 2024 solely to Nato. “Defense spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against ISIS terrorism,” Ms von der Leyen said.
Ivo Daalder, a former US ambassador to Nato, also took on his President in a direct tweet. “I’m sorry, Mr President but that is not how Nato works,” he wrote, explaining Nato spending was not a ‘financial transaction’ between countries but a joint commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence, the Guardian said. Mr Trump had on Saturday tweeted that Germany “owes vast sums of money to Nato” and the US must be paid more for the powerful defense it provides to Germany.