NATO countries in Europe will increase defense spending for the first time in many years

Defense spending in the countries-members of NATO will increase in 2016 for the first time in “many, many years.” About this newspaper the Financial Times reported the General Secretary of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg.

“The forecast for 2016 is based on data from allied countries, indicates that 2016 will be the first year in which defense spending by European allies will be increased for the first time in many, many years,” Stoltenberg said.

“We face uncertainty, with a large number of threats, security challenges than before, and we need unity, strength and stability,” he added.

The publication stresses that in the past year, the European NATO allies spent on defense a $253 billion, while US — $618 billion Following the recommendations of the Alliance on defence spending 2% of GDP, European countries do not reach this figure. Currently, defense spending is approximately equal to the average of 1.43% of GDP, the newspaper said.

For comparison, in the period from 1985 to 1989, European NATO countries spent on defence on average 3.1% of GDP. The figure remained above 2% for several more years after the end of the cold war. Starting in 2008 this figure was falling, writes the FT.

Exact numbers, how European NATO allies will increase their defense spending, NATO Secretary General did not name because he sounded data is preliminary and has discussed with the Alliance on a confidential basis.

However, as recalled by the publication, several key European countries-members of NATO publicly announced a significant increase in their defence budgets. So, bordering Russia, Latvia stated that it would increase its defense budget in 2016, almost 60%, Lithuania – 35%, Estonia – 9%. The growth of their defense spending and said Poland. She plans to increase their also 9%.