Tuesday

12th Dec 2017

Russia threat triggers European military spending hike

  • Most nations in Europe have increased their military spending. (Photo: Finnish army)

A perceived threat from Russia has triggered a central European dash towards military spending.

Figures presented on Monday (24 April) by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) show military expenditures in Central Europe grew by 2.4 percent in 2016.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Sipri researcher Siemon Wezeman in a statement said that the growth spurt can be attributed, in part, to the perception of Russia posing a greater threat following the country's annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.

"This is despite the fact that Russia’s spending in 2016 was only 27 percent of the combined total of European Nato members," he said.

Latvia registered the biggest increase in military spending ($407 million) with a 44 percent jump from 2015 to 2016, followed by Lithuania at 35 percent ($636 million).

Meanwhile, last year Russia increased its budget by 5.9 percent to $69.2 billion.

Spending increases from 2015 to 2016 were also noted in all but three nations in western Europe - Belgium, and non-Nato countries Ireland and Sweden. Overall military expenditures in this same region rose by 2.6 percent.

Italy registered the biggest defence spending spike in western Europe, with an 11 percent increase between 2015 and 2016. The spike partly reflects Italy's support for its local arms industry.

The US has also seen its first significant growth in military spending in 2016 after five years of decline.

The country increased spending by 1.7 percent to $611 billion last year, which is still 20 percent lower than the peak in 2010.

Russia's EU neighbours boost arms spending

Fear of Russia saw easterly EU states post some of the sharpest increases in arms spending in the world last year, according to Swedish think tank Sipri.

Two EU states break ranks on Jerusalem

Hungary and the Czech Republic have broken EU ranks on US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite warnings it could bring back 'darker times'.

EU complicit in Libyan torture, says Amnesty

The EU and its members states have signed up to 'Faustian pact' with Libyan authorities in the their effort to prevent migrant and refugee boat departures towards Italy, says Amnesty International.

News in Brief

  1. EU bank delays gas pipeline decision
  2. Hungary's leftwing parties join Jobbik in anti-Orban protest
  3. Barnier: EU will not accept UK backtracking on Brexit deal
  4. Puigdemont to return to Catalonia if elected
  5. Commission approves EasyJet partial takeover of Air Berlin
  6. EU medical command centre due next year
  7. Auditors: EU 'green' farm payments fail ecology criteria
  8. Austria gas explosion creates Italian energy 'emergency'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Last chance for Poland to return property to its rightful owners
  2. Commission attacks Tusk on 'anti-European' migrant plan
  3. Volkswagen tells EU: we will fail on our recall promise
  4. EU will not start Brexit future talks before March
  5. Bitcoin risky but 'limited phenomenon', says EU
  6. Panama Papers - start of sensible revolution in EU tax affairs?
  7. Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees
  8. New Polish PM brings same old government