BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) - Estonia's Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur has appealed to NATO partners to spend a larger proportion of their national economic output on defense each year. "We believe that two percent is not enough. We have to go further," said the Estonian on Friday on the fringes of a NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels. Estonia had proposed a target of 2.5 percent of economic output. His country, which borders Russia, is investing 3.4 percent this year, he said.

NATO's official goal is for each country to spend at least two percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense each year.

"If we look at how much Russia is investing in defense this year - almost 9 percent of its GDP - then we all understand that we need to invest even more if we compare our 2 percent in NATO or 3 to 3.5 percent," Pevkur said.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) said in Brussels: "I can say for Germany that we are doing our homework." This year, Germany has reached the two percent target for the first time in several decades. The majority of NATO's European allies - around 20 - also want to and will achieve the two percent target, said Pistorius. This is an important message to all other NATO partners, but also to the American allies in particular. "Europe delivers," said the Minister./svv/DP/mis