Wednesday

27th Jul 2016

Russia military spending on the up, as US and EU cut costs

  • Russia is beefing up its military (Photo: Peer.Gynt)

Russia spends more on arms compared to its GDP than the US and European countries, according to fresh figures released Monday (14 April) by Sipri, a military spending research group.

The US remains the world's top military spender in gross terms (€460bn), but its spending decreased by over 7 percent compared to the previous year, mainly because of the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Also in proportional terms, US military spending represents only 3.8 percent of its GDP, while Russia (€63.4bn) has increased its arms budget to 4.1 percent of GDP in 2013, compared to 3.5 percent in 2004.

Russia’s spending has risen as it continues to implement the State Armaments Plan for 2011–20, under which it plans to spend 20.7 trillion roubles (€403bn) on new and upgraded armaments. The goal is to replace 70 percent of equipment with ‘modern’ weapons by 2020.

Ukraine, on the brink of a war with the invading Russian neighbour, has also increased its military spending by 16 percent compared to the previous year.

China, the world's second-largest military spender, has also upped its budget to an estimated €135 billion in 2013, representing two percent of its GDP, according to Sipri.

There are four European countries in the top 15 of largest military spenders in the world.

France (€44bn), which last year ranked fourth after Russia, has now slipped behind Saudi Arabia, on rank five. Compared to 2004-2013, France has slashed its military budget by 6.4 percent.

Britain is behind France, with €41 billion in military spending, a decrease by two percent compared to the previous decade.

Germany, ranking seventh in the world (€35.2bn), is the only European country to have increased its military spending compared to 2004-2013, by 3.8 percent.

Italy, by contrast, has slashed its arms spending by 26 percent, ranking 11th in the world with a budget of €23.6 billion in 2013.

Falls of over 10 percent in military spendig since 2008 have also been recorded in Austria, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, as well as all countries in central Europe except Poland and Estonia.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  2. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  3. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  4. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  5. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  6. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  8. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  9. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  10. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  11. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company
  12. GoogleLearn about Google's projects across Europe on Twitter @GoogleBrussels