German Defense Minister Expresses Disappointment Over Budget Shortfall

Boris Pistorius has received €5 billion ($5.4 billion) less than he had requested for his ministry

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius is unhappy with the outcome of recent budget talks within the ruling coalition in Germany.

The proposed budget for 2025, announced by the leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens on Sunday, allocates €53 billion (around $57.5 billion) to the defense ministry, falling short of Pistorius’s request of €58 billion ($62.9 billion).

“Yes, I got significantly less than I registered for. That is annoying for me because I cannot initiate certain things at the speed that the historic turning point and threatening situation require,” the minister said, as quoted by Deutsche Welle, a German media outlet.

Pistorius was referring to the “Zeitenwende” (historic turning point), which was announced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shortly after the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022. The plan included a special €100-billion ($108.4) fund to bolster the German military’s combat readiness, which has been facing shortages of equipment, ammunition, and supplies in recent years.

Despite challenges within its own armed forces, Berlin has been the most significant supporter of Ukraine in Europe, providing or committing military aid totaling approximately €28 billion ($30.3 billion) to Kiev through current and future pledges. Germany’s weapons deliveries have included advanced equipment like Leopard 2 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles, and US-made Patriot air defense systems.

“We will see what happens in the next few weeks and months. I have to adapt to it and make the best of it,” Pistorius said of the €5 billion ($5.4 billion).

With Germany being the largest economy in the EU and the biggest NATO ally in Europe, the government in Berlin has “a special responsibility to assume, and we are doing so,” he insisted.

According to the minister, the German defense budget will rise to around €80 billion ($86.7 billion) by 2028, “more than ever before in Germany’s history.”

In February, Pistorius stated in an interview with Bloomberg that Germany needed to rearm quickly due to the possibility of Russia attacking NATO “in five to eight years.”

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed claims of Moscow planning aggression against NATO as “nonsense” and “bulls**t.” Putin asserted that these claims are fabricated by Western politicians to mislead the public and justify increased defense spending and aid to Kiev. “In Ukraine, we are just protecting ourselves,” he insisted.