Germany is in the process of building the largest European conventional army within NATO, its Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday, after massive investments decided following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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Currently Germany provides, alongside the United States, "certainly the greatest contribution" to the Atlantic Alliance, said the Social Democratic leader in an interview on public television ARD after the G7 summit.
"The largest conventional army in Europe within the framework of NATO is being built, and this is important for the defense capacity of NATO as a whole", he added during this interview. .
In the wake of the Russian invasion on February 24, the government announced the establishment of an exceptional fund of 100 billion euros aimed at modernizing its army, the Bundeswehr, whose equipment is dilapidated.
"We are going to spend on average between 70 and 80 billion euros per year on defence," he added. "And Germany will then be the country that invests the most in this area," he insisted.
For the leading European economy, it is a matter of ensuring the defense of its territory and fulfilling its commitments to the Atlantic Alliance, by achieving the objective of devoting 2% of the national GDP per year to defence.
The release of 100 billion euros for the national army is a major reversal for Germany, which in recent years has been dragging its feet to comply with the commitments of the Atlantic Alliance in this area, regularly attracting the wrath the United States.
Germany, since the end of the Cold War, has significantly reduced the size of its army, from around 500,000 when the country was reunified in 1990 to just 200,000 today.
But the invasion of Ukraine acted as an electric shock in a country steeped in pacifism since the horrors of the Nazis.