Military spending in Europe returned in 2022 to magnitudes not seen after the Cold War, driven by the conflict in Ukraine, according to a report released Monday by the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Research (SIPRI).
Europe was the continent that registered the highest year-on-year rise in the purchase of weapons, 13%, which, together with the increase in tensions in East Asia, contributed to the fact that world spending hit a record $2.2 trillion3.7% more year-on-year in real terms (double excluding inflation) and the equivalent of 2.2% of global gross domestic product (GDP).
The report highlights that 345,000 million dollars were spent in Central and Western Europe, 30% more than in 2013 and a figure that exceeds that of 1989 for the first time, coinciding with the end of the Cold War.
Finland, with 36% more, Lithuania (27%), Sweden (12%) and Poland (11%) experienced the largest increases in the military budgetand the plans launched by several countries suggest that spending in the area will continue to grow in the future, highlights SIPRI.
“While the large-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 certainly affected spending decisions in 2022, concerns about Russian aggression have been building long before. Many former Eastern Bloc countries have doubled their military spending since 2014″, writes this prestigious institute.
Russia, third on the world list, raised its military investment by 9.2% to about 86,400 million4.1% of its GDP, while Ukraine experienced a record increase of 640%, 34% of its GDP, not counting donations received from other countries.
Despite the increases registered in Europe and other areas, The United States maintains its undisputed dominance worldwide: it spent 877,000 million dollars, 39% of the total and three times more than China, the second on the list.
That figure represents an increase of 0.7% compared to 2021, which would be “much higher” if the country had not registered the highest inflation since 1981, and was driven by the “unprecedented” level of military aid to Ukraine.
The 19,900 million allocated last year by the US to Ukraine represent the largest amount in military aid to a country since the Cold Warexplains SIPRI, but it represents only 2.3% of total US military spending.
India, with 6% more, and Saudi Arabia, with 16%, complete the top five spots in annual spendingfollowed by the United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Korea and Japan, with Ukraine in eleventh place, twenty-five places higher than in 2021.
Spain drops one place to sixteenth, with an expense of 20,300 million (18,500 million euros), 7.3% more than in 2021, just ahead of Brazil.
The report also highlights the rise registered in Asia and Oceania, driven by China and Japan, with respective increases in the last year of 4.2% and 1.1%, which in the case of the latter is the highest since 1960. .
In Central America and the Caribbean there was a fall of 6.2%, driven by a decrease of almost ten points in military spending in Mexico, while en South America, the decrease in spending was 6.1%, in this case due to the drop in Brazilian investment.
With information from EFE
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