STOCKHOLM—International navy spending rose once more in 2021, setting new information as Russia continued to beef up its navy previous to its invasion of Ukraine, researchers mentioned Monday, predicting the pattern would proceed in Europe particularly.
Regardless of the financial fallout of the worldwide Covid pandemic, nations around the globe elevated their arsenals, with international navy spending rising by 0.7 % final yr, in accordance with a report by the Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute (Sipri).
“In 2021 navy spending rose for the seventh consecutive time to achieve $2.1 trillion. That’s the highest determine we have now ever had,” Diego Lopes da Silva, senior researcher at Sipri, advised AFP.
Russia’s spending grew by 2.9 % — the third yr of consecutive progress — to $65.9 billion.
Protection spending accounted for 4.1 % of Russia’s gross home product (GDP), “a lot greater than the world common”, and making Moscow the fifth largest spender on the earth, Lopes da Silva mentioned.
Excessive oil and gasoline revenues helped the nation increase navy expenditure. Lopes da Silva famous that Russia noticed a pointy uptick in spending in direction of the tip of the yr.
“That occurred as Russia amassed troops alongside the Ukrainian border previous in fact the invasion of Ukraine in February,” the researcher mentioned.
More durable sanctions
Whether or not Russia would have the ability to maintain its spending was troublesome to foretell, Lopes da Silva mentioned, because of the wave of sanctions imposed by the West in response to the aggression in Ukraine.
In 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, the nation was additionally focused with sanctions similtaneously vitality costs fell, making it troublesome to gauge how efficient sanctions have been on their very own.
“Now… we have now even harder sanctions, that’s for certain, however we have now greater vitality costs which may help Russia afford to take care of navy spending at that stage,” Lopes da Silva mentioned.
On the opposite facet, Ukraine’s navy spending has risen by 72 % because the annexation of Crimea. Whereas spending declined by over eight % in 2021 to $5.9 billion, it nonetheless accounted for 3.2 % of Ukraine’s GDP.
As tensions have elevated in Europe, extra Nato nations have stepped up spending.
Eight members nations final yr reached the focused two % of GDP for spending, one fewer than the yr earlier than however up from solely two in 2014, Sipri mentioned.
Lopes da Silva mentioned he anticipated spending in Europe to proceed to develop.
The US, which far outspent some other nation with $801 billion, really went towards the worldwide pattern and decreased its spending by 1.4 % in 2021.
Over the previous decade, US spending on analysis and improvement has risen by 24 % whereas arms procurement has gone down by 6.4 %.
Whereas each decreased in 2021, the drop in analysis was not as pronounced, highlighting the nation’s focus “on next-generation applied sciences.”
“The US authorities has repeatedly burdened the necessity to protect the US navy’s technological edge over strategic opponents,” Alexandra Marksteiner, one other researcher at Sipri, mentioned in a press release.
China, the world’s second largest navy spender at an estimated $293 billion, boosted its expenditure by 4.7 %, marking the twenty seventh straight yr of elevated spending.
The nation’s navy buildup has in flip prompted its regional neighbours to beef up their navy budgets, with Japan including $7 billion, a rise of seven.3 % — the very best annual enhance since 1972.
Australia additionally spent 4 % extra on its navy, reaching $31.8 billion in 2021.
India, the world’s third largest spender at $76.6 billion, additionally elevated funding in 2021, however by a extra modest 0.9 %.
The UK took over the quantity 4 spot, with a 3 % enhance in navy spending to $68.4 billion, changing Saudi Arabia which as a substitute decreased spending by 17 % to an estimated $55.6 billion.
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