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Nato allies are expected to agree in July to a pledge to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP, its head has said, despite only seven of the alliance’s 30 members meeting that level last year.

Russia’s war against Ukraine, launched 13 months ago, has exposed Europe’s stretched defence capacities, including weapons stocks that have been depleted supplying Kyiv.

“We are not moving as fast as the dangerous world we live in demands,” secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said. “I expect allies to agree a more ambitious pledge [at a July summit], with 2 per cent as a minimum.”

Last year, only the US, UK, Greece, Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania met the target agreed nine years ago.

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