Sweden to Increase Defence Spending by USD 1 Billion by 2020
The Swedish center-left minority government announced today that it has reached an agreement with two opposition parties to increase defense spending by a total of 8.1 billion kronor ($ 1 billion) over the next three years, Reuters reported.
The agency notes that this has happened at a time of growing tension with Russia in the Baltic region. According to the agreement between the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Moderate Coalition Party, about $ 2.7 billion (about $ 333 million) will be added to the budget for each of the next three years. For the period 2018-2020, defence funds will be increased by 6 billion crowns ($ 750 million). The Swedish armed forces have requested an additional 9 billion kronor for the period 2017 - 2020, Reuters said. They say they need additional funding to strengthen their strategic position after years of inadequate investment. The budget for 2018 will be presented on 20 September. Sweden has introduced compulsory military service and once again deployed soldiers on the strategic Baltic island of Gotland in a bid to strengthen its defense. The Scandinavian state is also getting closer to NATO, although the government excludes the option of becoming a member of the alliance.
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