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Germany to hike defense spending, Scholz says in further policy shift

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Sholz poses for a photo as finance ministers from across the G7 nations meet at Lancaster House in London, Britain June 5, 2021 ahead of the G7 leaders’ summit. Alberto Pezzali/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will sharply hike its spending on defense to more than 2% of its economic output in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told an extraordinary session of the Bundestag lower house of parliament on Sunday.

“We will have to invest more in the security of our country to protect out freedom and democracy,” he said, adding the government had decided to supply 100 billion euros for military investments from its 2022 budget.

Germany has long resisted pressure from the United States and others to raise its defense spending to 2% of economic output in the light of its bloody 20th century history and resulting strong pacifism among its population.

But it has made a turnabout on various longstanding policies in recent days, including its refusal to deliver weapons to conflict zones, agreeing to send Ukraine defensive anti-tank weapons, surface-to-air missiles and ammunition.

“There could be no other answer to Putin’s aggression,” Scholz told lawmakers.

Germany to hike defense spending, Scholz says in further policy shift

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