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Experts say rising military spending to push Europe to reconsider NATO’s role

"Trump has opened the Pandora box, demanding from Europe to increase military expenditures to 2% of GDP," the expert said

MOSCOW, May 24. /TASS/. European countries’ mounting military expenditures on NATO are getting Europe ‘hooked on’ the alliance, which will finally prompt EU states to reconsider the alliance’s role, experts said on Wednesday.

President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Leonid Ivashov believes that Europe is now reconsidering NATO’s role.

"There are three basic players in the alliance: the United States, transnational capital and the EU," the expert told a roundtable discussion.

"The Americans need the alliance to keep a tight rein on Europe. For transnational capital, it is important to have NATO working for them, winning new markets, influencing the pricing policy and destroying competitors. But why does the EU need NATO?" he said.

In the expert’s opinion, the military alliance is an instrument of global scope, which "cannot fight terrorism" single-handedly.

US President Donald Trump "won’t weaken the US influence in the alliance as this would eventually allow EU countries to pursue an economic and military policy differing from US interests," the expert said.

In turn, Dmitry Danilov, head of the European security section of the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that the US president who is demanding from European countries to boost military expenditures to increase their contribution to NATO is getting Europe "hooked on" the alliance.

"Trump has opened the Pandora box, demanding from Europe to increase military expenditures to 2% of GDP," the expert said.

"Now Europe is ‘on the hook.’ Therefore, the balance inside the Trans-Atlantic unity is under question," he added.

As the expert noted, the EU countries won’t be able to achieve the stated indicators even by 2024. However, military spending will be a major issue on the agenda of a forthcoming NATO summit in Brussels.

"NATO countries, of course, are following this path, including Germany that has insignificantly increased military expenditures. However, other European countries cannot do this," Danilov said.

"Europe won’t be fulfilling this requirement; however, some steps will be demonstrated in this direction and everyone will be content at this moment," the expert said.

According to the expert, this policy by European countries comes from Europe’s awareness of how unstable the position of Trump is in the United States and that is why "no stake can be made on what the incumbent US administration demands."