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NATO chief: US allies to spend $12 billion more this year

Associated Press logo Associated Press 28/06/2017
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. NATO defense ministers meet on Thursday to discuss, among other issues, the situation in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) © The Associated Press NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. NATO defense ministers meet on Thursday to discuss, among other issues, the situation in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS — NATO's chief says U.S. allies are projected to spend around $12 billion more on defense this year, after President Donald Trump berated them for failing to boost military budgets.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that "we have really shifted gears. The (spending) trend is up and we intend to keep it up."

Unveiling new figures, Stoltenberg said European allies and Canada have increased spending by almost $46 billion over the last three years.

He said 25 of NATO's 29 allies aim to raise defense spending in 2017.

Only the United States, Britain, Estonia, debt-burden Greece and Poland met NATO's spending targets last year. Romania says it will meet the 2 percent of GDP guideline this year, while Latvia and Lithuania plan to in 2018.

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