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NATO Report : Romania has failed to reach the target of 2% of GDP for defence expenditure in 2018


On 14 March, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presented his Annual Report for 2018. The Report, he says, “shows that NATO continues to modernise”.

The story of NATO in 2018 is one of an Alliance responding to the the challenges of today, adapting to the challenges of tomorrow, and investing in the future.

To keep us all safe, Allies are “doing a lot more together – in more ways and in more place – than ever before”, said the Secretary General. They are strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, boosting their cyber defences, fighting international terrorism, deepening partnerships, and much more.

The Report shows that defence spending among European Allies and Canada increased by almost 4% from 2017 to 2018, and that in the period from 2016 to 2018, they have contributed an additional cumulative spending of over 41 billion dollars. “We expect that figure to rise to 100 billion dollars by the end of next year”, said Jens Stoltenberg.

Romania’s defence expenditures amounted to 1.92% of the GDP in 2018, below the target of 2%, according to the NATO estimates.

Romania is thus on the eighth position within the North Atlantic Alliance in terms of the share of local resources allocated to the Army, a NATO report released on Thursday reads, according to ziare.com.

Expenditures for equipment acquisition represent 34.4% of the total amount, the third largest level after Luxembourg (which has defence expenditures of 0.54% of GDP) and Latvia (2% of GDP for defence).

The report reads that two thirds of the NATO overall expenditures were made by the United States, i.e. USD 6-5 billion. The US has spent 3.39% of the GDP, as compared to the other countries’ average of 1.48% of the GDP. Only six countries, except the US, have reached the target of 2% of GDP for defence: Greece, UK, Estonia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are the only NATO member states with laws or political agreements providing for allocating 2% of the GDP for defence.

At the end of 2018, Romania had 69,000 military, up by 11.2% against 2017, the NATO figures reveal, the same source informs.

(Source photo: nato.int)