Politics

Sweden also plans to increase its defense budget

Sweden wants to increase its defense budget up to 2% of its GDP, which would account for a 64% increase from 2021.

Sweden Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist
Sweden Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist

Sweden also wants to increase its defense budget up to 2% of its gross domestic product.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on March 10 during a news conference about the situation in Ukraine that the budget increase for military spending should be implemented "as soon as possible," although no date was set, yet.

Defense budget for 2021 amounted to SEK 66 billion (US$6.8 billion) and could reach SEK 108 billion ($11bn) soon. It would account for a 64% increase. But the government didn't lay out where the 42 billion krona would be financed.

Building up the defense takes time, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist emphasized.

Sweden didn't spend up to 2% of its GDP to defense in the last 20 years but Hultqvist even considered this investment should be compared to those made in the late 1950s.

Germany also announced a major investment in its military spending two weeks ago in light of the situation in Ukraine.

Before the announcement, a defense budget increase in Sweden was already planned with the goal to reach SEK 91 billion ($9.4bn) in 2025.

On top of increasing its defense budget, the prime minister also said there could be more positions open in military service. Military service in Sweden has been on a voluntary-basis since 2010 and the suspension of conscription.

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Nordic countries have been reviewing their positions regarding military cooperation and adjusted their usual moderate stance with militar.

Sweden and Finland have been debating for years their adhesion to NATO, a topics that revived in the past weeks. But Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Tuesday ruled out for now Sweden enrollment to NATO.

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