Petr Pavel, the President of Czech Republic, suggested on Tuesday that Europe should decrease its dependence on the United States and focus on strengthening the European component of NATO.
Pavel stated at the College of Europe’s new academic year opening that Europe should not rely solely on NATO for security and instead fulfill its own defense responsibilities. Developing European strategic capabilities and decreasing dependence on the U.S. should be seen as a contribution to the transatlantic partnership.
It is highly probable that we will need to exceed the 2 percent allocation for defense, as he mentioned.
During the Vilnius summit in July, NATO allies reached a consensus that the goal, as stated by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, should be viewed as a minimum rather than a maximum.
“We acknowledge that there may be instances where spending more than 2 percent of GDP is necessary,” the joint statement declared.
Approximately 33% of the 31-member alliance, which includes several Eastern allies, is currently meeting or nearly meeting the designated goal.
During his speech, Pavel expressed his support for expansion, stating that it should not be delayed until a hypothetical future point where candidate countries are completely in line with our goals. He also stressed the importance of Western countries countering Russia’s narrative in Africa.
Pavel, a previous military general and high-ranking member of NATO, assumed the role of Czech president in the beginning of 2023.
On Tuesday, Stoltenberg spoke individually with the leaders of the G7, which includes President Joe Biden of the United States, along with Poland and Romania. This conversation took place amidst growing worries from Europe regarding the U.S. Congress’ choice to suspend aid funding for Ukraine.
NATO emphasized the significance of providing ongoing assistance to Ukraine as the sole means of attaining a fair and enduring peace, according to Stoltenberg.
His statement is perceived to be directed towards Poland as well, as their political campaigns for the upcoming election resulted in the government refusing to provide weapons to Ukraine.