The German chancellor has strongly condemned accusations by Donald Trump that have raised concerns about the strength of NATO. Olaf Scholz has stated that any attempt to relativize NATO’s mutual defense clause is dangerous and only serves Russia’s interests, and he urged that Europe’s security be strengthened through a partnership with the United States.
Following a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Scholz reiterated this message, emphasizing that there is no alternative to strengthening ties with NATO in light of growing security concerns. Tusk agreed, stating in Paris and Berlin that the European Union, NATO, and the United States must work together to ensure peace and stability in Europe.
The controversy surrounding Trump’s remarks arose 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. In response to the invasion of Ukraine, Berlin has increased its defense spending and is expected to hit the target this year.