Sweden will increase its defence spending next year by more than a quarter to meet Nato’s target of 2 per cent of gross domestic product even as the Scandinavian country struggles to overcome Turkish opposition to it joining the western military alliance, APA reports citing Financial Times.
Pål Jonson, Sweden’s defence minister, said on Monday that defence spending would increase by almost 30 per cent to SKr119bn ($11bn) next year in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“Sweden finds itself in the most serious security situation since the end of the second world war, which requires Sweden to have a defence that is ready to protect Swedish territory,” said the agreement between the centre-right government and the nationalist Sweden Democrats.
Sweden has promised Ukraine military support amounting to SKr19bn in total, and said other big investments for next year included new artillery systems, transport planes as well as continued purchases of fighter jets and submarines.
Sweden and neighbouring Finland responded to Russia’s invasion by seeking to join Nato and its promise of collective defence. While Finland became Nato’s 31st member in April, Sweden’s membership application has been held up by Turkiye.