NATO urges Canada to increase military spending
The NATO Secretary General is encouraging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to redouble his efforts to increase Canada’s military spending and help the military alliance counter the threats it faces.
On Monday at the Petawawa military base in the Ottawa Valley, Jens Stoltenberg noted that “defense spending is now increasing” in Canada and other NATO nations after years of fighting. reduction.
He praised Canada’s contribution to a NATO mission to Latvia to counter Russian aggression and another mission to train troops in Iraq.
The federal government plans to invest billions of dollars less than what was promised this year in new military equipment, raising concerns that the country may not meet NATO spending targets .
In a press conference with Prime Minister Trudeau on Monday, Stoltenberg urged Canada to “redouble efforts” in military spending.
“It’s about equity, but more importantly, it’s about our security in a more unpredictable world,” he said.
Mr. Trudeau said Canada has the will and the ability to make a difference in the world. The Prime Minister also mentioned that Canada had deployed three women to command positions in NATO missions, which Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed.
US President Donald Trump described NATO as an outdated organization, saying it was created to defend the West during the Cold War. According to him, it is now neglected and underfunded by its own members, leaving the United States to shoulder the burden of supporting it.
Donald Trump’s complaints have created a permanent tension within the military alliance, which celebrates its 70 th anniversary this year.
But despite anti-NATO rhetoric, the “facts on the ground” in Europe show that the US is more supportive of the alliance than before, Stoltenberg said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
“We have seen this, not only in words, but also in gestures; the United States, together with Canada, is strengthening its military presence in Europe after years of cutting major investments in Europe, “he said.
“In fact, when you look at the facts on the ground, there is no question that the United States is committed to NATO and European security.”
Response to the Russian aggression
Canada’s intervention in Latvia is one of many missions to NATO countries with borders with Russia, which are intended to demonstrate force to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from threatening other countries in Russia. Eastern Europe.
The increased presence of NATO is the result of Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula and its collaboration with Russian separatists in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
This could make Canada a target of Russian interference in the fall federal election. Stoltenberg said NATO allies shared information on cyber threats. Mr. Trudeau pointed out that Canada has had talks with Baltic allies who have been confronted with “significant amounts of interference” to learn what they “have done to counter foreign propaganda”.
Canada is also leading the NATO training mission for Iraqi forces in that country. Tensions are exacerbated in this region because of escalating conflict between neighboring Iran and the United States.
Following his visit to Petawawa Base, Stoltenberg was scheduled to travel to Toronto for a speech and a question and answer session at the University of Toronto.
The visit marks a packed diplomatic week for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who will receive EU leaders on Wednesday for a summit in Montreal.