Romania is ranked first in NATO in terms of equipment expenditure as a share of defence expenditure, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s 2017 annual report, according to country’s Ministry of Defence (MApN), informs Agerpres.
“The MApN welcomes NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s annual report released at the Alliance on March 15. According to the document, Romania’s defence expenditure increased significantly in 2017, approaching the 2-percent-of-GDP target. In terms of equipment expenditure as a percentage share of defence expenditure, Romania is first, with 33 percent. It is also ranked first in terms of annual increases in defence expenditure,” the MApN says.
According to the ministry, after almost a decade, Romania succeeded in counteracting defence under-financing in 2017, allocating 2 percent of its GDP for defence spending, and it will continue to do so by 2026.
Based on the discharge of the 2017 budget, defense expenditure was 14.764 billion lei, with 33 percent of this amount having been steered into major equipment purchases, which means 1.81 percent of the estimated GDP at the time of budget approval, placing Romania 6th inside NATO, the MApN says.
According to the same source, Romania’s 2016 defence expenditure was 11.230 billion lei, while in 2017 it was 16.322 billion lei, which gives an increase by 5.092 billion lei, or more than 45 percent, being one of the largest increases in such expenditure among the NATO member states.
“Thus, the substantive commitment to the fulfillment of Romania’s obligations on all important topics on the NATO agenda is re-affirmed, based on the national decision to ensure the budgetary resources needed for the modernisation and consolidation of the national defence capabilities. This way, Romania puts into practice its defence pledge taken at the Wales NATO summit. By adequately financing the acquisition of equipment / technical equipment essential to the equipping of the armed forces and the revitalisation of existing military equipment and hardware, approached as a priority last year and this year as well, Romania demonstrates that it is fulfilling its obligations as a member of NATO and that it is a credible and predictable ally in this region of Europe,” according to the MApN.