Romania’s military spending rose by 50 percent last year compared with 2016, up to USD 4 billion, the biggest increase in the world, due to modernization and expansion plan for 2017–26, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
In its “Trends in world military expensiture 2017” report, SIPRI indicates that total world military expenditure rose to USD 1,739 billion in 2017, a marginal increase of 1.1 percent in real terms from 2016.
Romania posted the biggest increase in military spending in the world last year, after the goverment agreed to increase the military spending up to 2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
“While Poland was by far the largest military spender in Central Europe in 2017, accounting for 42 per cent of the subregional total, Romania made the largest relative increase: its military expenditure rose by 50 per cent, the highest rate of increase in the world between 2016 and 2017 (…). This sharp rise was due to Romania starting to implement its military procurement, modernization and expansion plan for 2017–26,” the report said.
The increase was driven “by the perceived threat from Russia felt by many countries in Central Europe”, according to the report.
Romania’s government signed several important military contracts during the last year, especially for Patriot and HIMARS rocket systems and Piranha 5 military vehicles.
The total military spending by all 29 NATO members, including Romania, was USD 900 billion in 2017, accounting for 52 percent of world spending.