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Hagel calls on Nato allies to step up defence spending amid Ukraine crisis

Published on May 2, 2014 10:48 PM
 
Nato's European members need to increase their defence spending in light of Russia's action in Ukraine, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said in planned remarks released on Friday, May 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Nato's European members need to increase their defence spending in light of Russia's action in Ukraine, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said in planned remarks released on Friday.

"We must see renewed financial commitments from all Nato members," Mr Hagel said in excerpts from a speech on the Nato alliance to be delivered at the Wilson Centre and released by the Pentagon.

His comments come amid increased violence between Ukraine loyalists and Russian separatists despite an international peace deal, and echoed calls by other top US officials this week for Nato members to shore up their commitments.

The level of defence spending by Nato allies has been a longstanding concern of US defence secretaries. Only a handful of the 28 countries actually spend 2 per cent of their GDP on defence as agreed under the Nato partnership.

 
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