World

Germany agrees to $107 billion fund to modernize military in face of possible Russian threat

Germany’s government and conservative opposition have agreed a deal that will release 100 billion euros ($107 billion) to modernize the army due to the possibility of a Russian threat.

An agreement was reached late Sunday to create a special fund for military procurement that will also allow Berlin to achieve NATO’s target of spending two percent of GDP on defence.

The agreement will allow Berlin to achieve Natos target of spending 2.0 percent of GDP on defence “on average over several years,” according to the text of the agreement obtained by AFP.

The deal, which involves amending budgetary rules in the national constitution, was struck after weeks of difficult negotiations between the parties in the governing coalition and the conservatives of former chancellor Angela Merkel, representatives of these groups told AFP. The fund will be financed by additional debt.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz told German regional dailies that the agreement would “considerably strengthen” the security of Germany and its NATO allies. “Germany will soon have the largest conventional army in Europe within NATO,” he said in an interview due to be published on Tuesday.

Critics have since accused Scholz of timidity in his support for Kyiv and failing to take enough concrete action in terms of arms deliveries.

The agreement will allow Berlin to achieve NATO’s target of spending 2.0 percent of GDP on defence “on average over several years,” according to the text of the agreement obtained by AFP.

Release of the funds for the military is a major reversal for Germany, which in recent years has been slower than others complying with its NATO spending commitments, which has drawn criticism from Washington in particular.

Since the end of the Cold War, Germany has significantly reduced the size of its army, from around 500,000 in 1990 to just 200,000 today. Fewer than 30 percent of German naval ships were “fully operational” according to a report published December on the state of the military. Many of the country’s fighter aircraft are unfit to fly.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: JAPAN TIMES

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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