Germany eyes goal of 1.5 percent defense spending by 2025

German Chancellor Angel Merkel, left, talks to defense minister Ursula von der Leyen to her visit to a Bundeswehr meeting in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 14, 2018. ( Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — Germany's defense minister says Berlin will raise its military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025 — far short of the 2 percent goal demanded of NATO members by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that defense spending will reach 1.3 percent next year. She plans to tell allies at next month's NATO summit that Germany "wants defense spending's share of the gross domestic product to reach 1.5 percent in 2025."

German news agency dpa cited experts saying that would amount to about 60 billion euros ($72 billion), compared with 37 billion euros last year.

She didn't address claims Saturday by the new U.S. ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenell, that Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Trump that Berlin will reach the 2 percent target by 2030.

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