CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

NATO countries to cut "fat and not muscle": Rusmussen

06-11-2010 10:37 BJT

BRUSSELS, June 10 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday urged member states to "cut fat not muscle" in defence budgets as they are forced to make cuts due to current financial crisis.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (4th L) gives a speech during the opening session of a NATO defence ministers meeting (NAC) at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels June 10, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (4th L) gives a speech during the 
opening session of a NATO defence ministers meeting (NAC) at the Alliance 
headquarters in Brussels June 10, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

NATO defence minister began a two-day meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday morning. The NATO chief told reporter that "the financial crisis has put enormous pressure on defence budgets in all NATO countries. Many have already made cuts - some very deep."

"And there is more to come," he warned.

His words came as NATO issued the latest statistics, showing that just five members, the United States, Britain, France, Greece and Albania, met NATO's informal target of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence in 2009.

However, Fogh Rusmussen said that he was encouraged by Thursday 's discussion as ministers have showed "a shared sense" on the issue.

"We must cut fat and not muscle. While seeking savings, we must nevertheless preserve our ability to deter attacks against us and to carry out essential operations," he said.

He also called for a "coherent approach" to tackle the issue, saying "we can retain the essential capabilities we need, avoid pointless duplication, and buy together what we couldn't afford individually."

Within the alliance, NATO has made 1.5 billion euros in saving over the next four year for its military budgets, he said.

The Dane said that he would present proposals to make NATO's command structure more efficient and cut the number of committees by three quarters, to less than one hundred.


Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program