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Norway ready to step up defence needs, prime minister says

18/2/2024 6:22
        Norway is "ready to stand up and be counted" on defence spending ahead of a NATO Washington summit in July, the Nordic country’s prime minister told Reuters on Saturday, adding that Oslo was preparing a new long-tem defence plan
        
        The country last year set a target for the first time to raise its defence spending to at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2026, in line with a long-held goal among members of the NATO alliance.
        
        Former U.S. President Donald Trump shocked Europeans earlier this month by saying he would encourage Russia "to do whatever the hell they want" to NATO allies that did not spend enough.
        
        The 31 allies have committed to a target of spending 2% of their output on defence but not all have done so individually.
        
        When asked whether Norway could bring forward that deadline, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere appeared to open the door to speeding that process, saying the government would present in the coming months a new long-term defence plan based on a broad commission of experts and all political parties.
        



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