The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported on Monday (13 April) that Poland and Lithuania have top EU defence budget hikes in 2015.
As a conflict in Ukraine is still ongoing, some Eastern European countries are working on plans and partnerships aimed to enhance security level in the region. What is more, the countries bordering Russia are planning to increase military outlay and spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defence (NATO members). However, only 4 countries (UK, US, Greece and Estonia) have reached this target.
According to SIPRI, Lithuania is planning to spend €400 million, which is 50 percent more than in 2014. And Poland, which has granted €33 billion in 2013 for the 10-year plan of the military modernisation, is also going to increase military spending by 20 percent – €9.3 billion in 2015.
Budget hikes will also be recorded in Latvia (14.9 percent) and Estonia (7.3 percent). What is more, Estonia is also asking for a larger NATO contingent to defend its borders with Russia, behind which 40,000 to 80,000 Russian soldiers are taking part in military exercises. “As soon as one country is left on its own, no country will feel secure after that” says – afraid of Russian aggression – President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.