Terrorism and Russia are the greatest threats facing society today and a "collective defense" will be the only way to uphold Western democratic values, Germany's defense minister said.
In a clear nod to the NATO alliance, which has faced heated debate lately over the defense spending of member countries, Ursula Von der Leyen told CNBC Saturday that the West must maintain a united front against forces that threaten to undermine international peace.
"We are in the coalition against terror. This is a threat that will keep us busy for a long time. The other one is, of course, that Russia is projecting its power with military means and hybrid war scenes in other countries which is not acceptable for us. We have to focus on territorial defense as well as on crisis and conflict management and fighting terror."
Von der Leyen said Germany had been a key beneficiary of collective defense since World War II and added that her country would take a "fair share of the burden where collective defense is concerned."
Germany, the world's fourth-largest economy excluding the EU, currently contributes 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product to NATO defense spending, below the 2 percent target agreed to by the 28 member countries in 2014.