The United States demanded today that the other member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) increase military expenditures and contributions to the alliance before the end of 2017.
At a press conference, US Vice President Mike Pence indicated that the White House offers until the end of the year for Canada and European allies to make 'real progress' in their investments in defense and the distribution of financial burdens in the group.
The statement came after a meeting here with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who agreed with the positions of the US executive.
According to Pence, the United States wants the allies to 'keep their promise and do more for our common defense,' and asserted that President Donald Trump 'expects real progress by the end of 2017.'
Currently, the northern power government covers more than 70 percent of the cost of NATO, and 'we are committed to our part, but the time has come for the allies to take a step forward,' the representative of the White House said.
Many allies, some of the largest, still fail to meet the target of rising their spending on defense to two percent of Gross Domestic Product in a decade as agreed in 2014 during a NATO summit in Wales, he said.
'Our country has made continuous investments in European security and we see that the European countries are left behind,' he stressed.
According to Pence, Stoltenberg's 'leadership' in NATO places the increase in defense spending as 'first priority', which satisfies his country.
'Europeans cannot ask for more from the United States if they do not commit more,' Stoltenberg said.