BRUSSELS, June 14 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday welcomed Croatia's defense spending increase and urged the country to "do more" when he met with visiting Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
According to NATO's press release, Stoltenberg thanked Croatia for contributions to NATO's battlegroups in Lithuania and Poland, and missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo.
Discussing preparations for the summit in July, Stoltenberg said that NATO will take the steps to modernize the alliance, to further strengthen collective deterrence and defense.
He said burden-sharing will also be a main topic at the summit.
"I welcome that Croatia has stopped the cuts in defense spending and also started to increase but I hope that Croatia can do more, because we need all Allies to fully make good on the pledge we made together back in 2014", he said.
NATO allies agreed to stop cuts to their defense budgets and move towards spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense within a decade in 2014 at NATO's summit.
NATO's figures show that in 2017 only four European members met the spending guideline.