Defense, Crosetto: “Expenditure at 1.38% of GDP, we risk being ‘Pierini’ of NATO”

“Sixth aid decree approved for Ukraine, we will give nuclear defense systems”

“The decision to allocate 2% of GDP to defense spending was not made by me, it dates back to 2014 and was reiterated by all the governments that followed. I was the only one who said at the NATO meeting that yesterday that 2% is a difficult target to achieve, given the financial conditions. We are at 1.38%, hence the proposal to separate defense expenditure from budget constraints. Otherwise we will be the ‘Pierini’ of the Born, the only ones not to reach the 2% target when others are already talking about 3% or 4%”. This was stated by Defense Minister Guido Crosetto during the hearing on the programmatic lines of the joint commissions for Defense of the Chamber and Foreign Affairs and Senate Defense.

“NATO – underlined Crosetto – is not a warmonger: there is a perception of insecurity in the world, the international scenario is problematic. Not only for Ukraine, I am worried about the southern front where terrorism is growing: the the main one in the coming years will be Africa”.

“I believe the approach we have had so far to international missions is wrong. We must ask ourselves the result of a mission. Have we increased that country’s GDP? Security? What is the purpose? At the same time as the military aspect, we must involve cooperation for interventions in education, in health care, in economic growth, in the creation of wealth in that place,” he said. “I would like for the next mission decree – underlined Crosetto – a different approach, which measures the result. We allocate 1.3-1.5 billion euros, we have to measure how much the mission is served. It is a 360-degree change” .

UKRAINE – “We have approved the sixth aid decree for Ukraine and very specific requests have arrived in recent days. We always talk about weapons but they also want equipment for defense against nuclear and biological attacks, which make less news than the tanks, but which we will give as Italy, together with civilian aid, generators, blankets”, Crosetto explained. “I hope for a ceasefire, but today I don’t think the conditions are there”, he added, explaining to watch “what happens. I see that Russia has recruited 300 thousand people and is throwing them to the front. Ukraine cannot allow occupied areas to remain Russian, nor can Russia afford to lose them. I wish for a ceasefire, which does not mean the end of the war. Only then can reasoning begin. Today I don’t think the conditions exist. Look at the attacks that Russia launches every day.”

“At each meeting, Kiev asks for reinforcements because bombs fall every day and there are troops trying to occupy cities. Every day a siren sounds that tells you to go to the shelters – added Crosetto – there is always talk of weapons but requests have also arrived more worrisome for defense equipment against radioactive, bacteriological and chemical attacks”.