Slovakia’s prime minister to visit the White House after 2% defence spending pledge

Slovakia’s prime minister to visit the White House after 2% defence spending pledge

US President Donald Trump and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini will discuss security cooperation when they meet at the White

Peter Pellegrini donald trump

Photo: Reuters/Radovan Stoklasa

US President Donald Trump and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini will discuss security cooperation when they meet at the White House today.

Last week Mr Pellegrini announced that Slovakia would boost its defence spending to 2% of its gross domestic product by 2022, two years faster than planned.

NATO guidelines have called for all 29 members of the alliance to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defence by no later than 2024. As of 2018, only five NATO countries have met this mark. Meanwhile, President Trump and his administration have pressed countries to expand their spending beyond the 2% benchmark. Of all member states, the US spends the greatest proportion of its GDP on defence, at 3.5%.

President Trump will likely praise Mr Pellegrini today for his decision to ramp up military spending, strengthening relations between the two countries. The domestic political environment in Slovakia was recently reshuffled when, in March, Zuzana Caputova became Slovakia’s first female president. Ms Caputova, an international liberal, has pledged to be more supportive of NATO than her predecessor. Her new leadership will be tested by her ability to drum up domestic support for Slovakia to commit itself more to the alliance.

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