Romania commits to NATO 2 percent defense spending target until 2026

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 7.8.2017 11:11

A military procurement plan for 2017-2026 presented on 1 August shows that NATO member Romania is set to annually spend 2% of its GDP on defence for the upcoming nine years. Staunch U.S. ally Bucharest spent 1.7% in 2016 and met the NATO benchmark earlier this year, expected to spend €9.8bn on modernising the military under the new plan. The announcement follows the conclusion of Saber Guardian exercises ahead of Russia’s Zapad military drills this autumn. Due to run along its western border, Moscow is said to dispatch 100,000 troops as a part of the military exercise. NATO, based on experience from past years, has reason to believe that the real numbers of soldiers in the Zapad 2017 exercises would be significantly higher than the data declares.

U.S. President Donald Trump drew criticism when pressuring NATO allies to fulfil their financial commitments. The U.S. State Department approved a possible sale of seven Patriot missile defence systems to Bucharest in June. As Romania is revamping its forces, the Patriot missiles would be part of an integrated air defence system together with six newly acquired F-16 fighter jets. Romania hosts a U.S. ballistic missile defence station. Moscow reportedly views the missile shield as a “great danger” and would potentially be forced to respond by improving its own missile capabilities.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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