: Germany adopts new defence strategy warily eyeing Russia

15:23 Jul. 13, 2016

Germany adopts new defence strategy warily eyeing Russia

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, center, greets German helicopter pilots in a hangar at Camp Marmal in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan (AP photo)

Russian actions in Ukraine make European nations rethink their security policy

The German Defence Ministry has released a new plan outlining the country's future defence and security policies, DW reports.

Germany's so-called White Paper on security policy - the first of its kind issued in a decade - sees Germany gradually assuming a larger defence role within the frameworks of NATO and the European Union.

Among a number of security challenges – from refugees to ISIS - the document mentions Russia's actions in Ukraine and provocative military activities along the borders with the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance.

"Russia is openly calling the European peace order into question with its willingness to use force to advance its own interests and to unilaterally redraw borders guaranteed under international law, as it has done in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. This has far-reaching implications for security in Europe and thus for the security of Germany," the document says.

Read also Steinmeier warns of "confrontation relapse" between Russia and NATO

According to the 2016 White Paper, approved by the German cabinet on Wednesday, the Bundeswehr is now set to see its budget boosted, and will implement its first increase in troop strength since it was a conscript army in the Cold War.

Plans call for recruiting nearly 20,000 additional personnel over seven years.

The Defence Ministry's plan stressed that Germany will act within transatlantic and European frameworks. For the past two years, President Joachim Gauck and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen have pushed for more German engagement abroad.

Of Germany's 177,000-strong armed forces, 3,300 troops are deployed on global missions from Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa to Mali and Turkish-Greek coastal waters.

Defense spending is also set to rise almost 7 percent to USD 40 billion in 2017, with further increases down the road.

Based on reporting by Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg

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