German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (L) talks with her Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide during a NATO Defense Ministers Meeting at its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 15, 2017. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)
BERLIN, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Germany does not owe NATO and the United States "vast sums" of money for defense, German Federal Ministry of Defense said on Sunday, rejecting the tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump.
"There is no debt account at NATO," German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, elaborating on the distribution of Berlin's military expenditure, which is also allocated to UN peacekeeping, EU operations and anti-terror efforts in addition to NATO missions.
The minister thus said it is unfair to measure Germany's military and security efforts judging solely on its NATO spending.
The statement came a day after Trump wrote on his twitter saying "Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!"
Trump tweeted the words just a day after his meeting with German Chancellor Merkel in Washington, where according to German media, the two had a "Not warm, but not distant" meeting.
Trump once called the NATO "obsolete" and threatened to "moderate" its commitment to it if NATO partners fail to meet the mandated defense spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product.
German government have committed to the target by 2024. In February, Germany's defense ministry announced the plan to expand its national army, the Bundeswehr, in light of "increasing responsibilities," partly seen as a response to Washington's recent pressure.
WASHINGTON, March 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday reiterated his support to NATO, but urged its members to "pay their fair share for the cost of defense." Full story
BERLIN, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Amid an overlooked handshake request and Trump's little appreciated "wiretapping" joke, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had her first face-to-face meeting with the U.S. president in Washington on Friday. Full story