German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has fiercely defended NATO and its mutual defense clause in the face of criticism from former US President Donald Trump. Scholz called out Trump’s comments about the U.S. potentially not defending NATO allies against a Russian invasion if they did not spend enough on defense as “irresponsible and dangerous.”
In an interview with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Scholz reiterated his stance that any weakening of NATO’s guarantee of assistance is in Russia’s interest. Tusk, for his part, emphasized the importance of strengthening ties between the European Union, NATO, and the United States in light of growing security concerns.
The controversy surrounding Trump’s remarks emerged during a campaign rally when he suggested that he would potentially encourage Russia to invade NATO allies who were not meeting the defense spending target. NATO members are expected to dedicate 2% of their national income to defense, and Germany has been working hard to reach this benchmark after drawing criticism from Trump while he was in power.
Scholz’s latest comments come as Berlin continues to increase its defense spending in response to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Despite rising tensions with Moscow, Scholz remains committed to maintaining strong relations with Russia and believes that cooperation is key to resolving conflicts in Europe.