German defence budget for 2025 ‘significantly’ less than sought, minister says

By Maria Martinez

BERLIN (Reuters) -German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Monday his ministry had received “significantly less” in 2025 budget funding than he had sought for plans to boost annual defence spending by 6.7 billion euros ($7.25 billion).

Reports by local media, including Bild newspaper, said the ministry would receive an additional 1.2 billion euros, but spokespeople for the government and the minister declined to comment.

Pistorius said the shortfall was “annoying”, but added that he now had to “adapt to it and make the best of it”.

“It means I can’t initiate certain things as quickly as ‘Zeitenwende’ and the threat situation require,” he said upon arrival in Fairbanks, Alaska, referring to the major shift of policy announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The policy shift included the creation of a 100-billion-euro special fund to bring the military back up to speed.

Under the budget deal struck on Friday, Germany’s coalition government agreed to keep German defence spending above the NATO target of 2% of gross domestic product, with an additional 30 billion euros in 2028 to meet the target despite the fact that the special fund will have been exhausted.

The mid-term financial planning agreed on Friday foresees a total of 80 billion euros in 2028, “more than ever before in Germany’s history”, Pistorius said.

Germany’s military top brass has warned the armed forces needs additional funds immediately to be combat-ready in five years, when they think Russia will be capable of attacking NATO member-state territory.

Referring to defence spending, Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who also acts as Germany’s vice chancellor, said on Monday “the financial conditions do not suit Germany’s security situation.”

($1 = 0.9239 euros)

(Reporting by Maria Martinez;Editing by Friederike Heine and Helen Popper)


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