US President Donald Trump’s call on NATO countries to double their military spending target to four percent of GDP are aimed, first and foremost, at supporting the US economy, Russian experts told TASS on Thursday. However, in their view, NATO members are unlikely to take practical steps to that end.
While taking part in the 29th NATO summit in Brussels, Trump called on allies to immediately double their military spending target to four percent of GDP, though the initial plan was to reach the two percent level by 2025.
Increasing the US economy’s competitive capabilities was a key theme of Trump’s election campaign. According to Chief Editor of Russia’s Natsionalnaya Oborona (or National Defense) magazine Igor Korotchenko, this is the objective behind all his statements. "Demanding that the EU increase its defense spending and provide preferences to US defense companies and the US economy in general - this is the core of his politics," Korotchenko said.
The expert believes that the US president’s demand is some kind of psychological pressure on the leaders of NATO countries. "Trump is an impetuous person. As a politician, he is pushy and high-handed, his political mentality reflects his business-like nature and his business-like approach to global processes, including the defense policy," Korotchenko noted.
Trump seeks to make Germany purchase US LNG instead of cheaper Russian gas, which would make the German economy less stable and competitive. "I think that German leaders understand this and Trump’s blackmail will not help him achieve the desired result. Germany will not abandon the Nord Stream 2 [gas pipeline project]," the expert concluded.