Friday

20th Oct 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.

EU in diplomatic push to save Iran deal

EU leaders mobilise to stop Trump's attack on Iran deal, as Congress prepares knife-edge vote with implications for trans-Atantic ties and Middle East stability.

Macron puts trade policy on summit table

France's president wants a "political discussion" on EU trade policies at Thursday's summit, amid domestic concerns over Canada and South America deals. But his colleagues are likely to avoid a lengthy debate.

EU gives thumbs up to US data pact

Commission gives 'thumbs-up' to controversial Privacy Shield deal with US on data sharing after a year's operation - but notes room for improvement.

News in Brief

  1. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  2. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  3. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  4. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  5. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict
  6. Dutch PM: Brexit is 'still a bad idea'
  7. Commission to issue proposal on civil protection
  8. Tusk: 'No space' for EU intervention in Catalonia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  3. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  7. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  8. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  9. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  10. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  11. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness