Germany to increase defense spending, but legacy also important

By REUTERS
February 22, 2017 15:46
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BERLIN - Germany will increase its defense spending in the coming years as promised to NATO allies, but the government should also keep its military history and fears among European neighbors in mind, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday.

"One has to ask whether it would really calm Germany's neighbors if we turned into big military power in Europe," Gabriel told reporters.

He also urged Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists to stick to a ceasefire, warning it would be difficult to solve the crisis if both sides did not adhere to agreements.

The head of the OSCE said on Tuesday that a ceasefire in Ukraine was not looking "too good" and confirmation of the agreed removal of heavy artillery would have to wait until at least Wednesday.


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