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German defense minister complains about ‘annoying’ budget

Boris Pistorius has received €5 billion ($5.4 billion) less than he had requested for his ministry

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is dissatisfied with the results of recent talks among the ruling ‘traffic light’ coalition on the country’s budget for 2025.

According to the proposed budget announced by the leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens on Sunday, the defense ministry is going to get €53 billion (around $57.5 billion) next year instead of the €58 billion ($62.9 billion) that Pistorius wanted.

“Yes, I got significantly less than I registered for. That is annoying for me because I cannot initiate certain things at the speed that the historic turning point and threatening situation require,” the minister said, as quoted by Deutsche Welle, a German media outlet.

Pistorius was apparently referring to the “Zeitenwende” (historic turning point), which was announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shortly after the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022. The plan included a special €100-billion ($108.4) fund to boost the combat readiness of the German military, which has been experiencing shortages of hardware, ammunition and supplies in recent years.

Despite issues with its own armed forces, Berlin has been the biggest backer of Ukraine in Europe, providing or committing military assistance totaling some €28 billion ($30.3 billion) to Kiev in current and future pledges. Germany’s weapons deliveries included sophisticated hardware such as Leopard 2 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles and US-made Patriot air defense systems.

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“We will see what happens in the next few weeks and months. I have to adapt to it and make the best of it,” Pistorius said of the €5 billion ($5.4 billion).

With Germany being the largest economy in the EU and biggest NATO ally in Europe, the government in Berlin has “a special responsibility to assume, and we are doing so,” he insisted.

According to the minister, the German defense budget will grow to around €80 billion ($86.7 billion) by 2028, “more than ever before in Germany’s history.”

In February, Pistorius claimed in an interview with Bloomberg that Germany needed to re-arm fast due to the possibility of Russia attacking NATO “in five to eight years.”


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Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed claims of Moscow planning aggression against NATO as “nonsense” and “bulls**t.” According to Putin, such claims are made by Western politicians to deceive the public and justify increased spending on defense and aid to Kiev. “In Ukraine, we are just protecting ourselves,” he insisted.

July 08, 2024 at 09:12PM
RT

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