Defense ministers from NATO are under pressure to raise thier contributions to the security group as conflicts grow across the world and as the new U.S. administration urges more compliance from member states.
According to Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO, the group faces "great security challenges" and as a result there needs to be "fair burden-sharing" and higher defense spending.
"We do reduce defense spending in times when tensions are going down, we have to be able to increase defense spending when tensions are going up as they are now," Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday.
NATO data confirmed Tuesday showed that last year spending increased in real terms by 3.8 percent among European allies and Canada. This boosted NATO's funds by about $10 billion. Even though such figures were slightly above expectations, Stolenberg told reporters the momentum has to continue.
The new U.S. administration has repeatedly said that all 28 NATO members have to comply with their commitment to the spending target. At the moment, only five of them respect the 2 percent contribution: the U.S., Greece, the U.K., Estonia and Poland.