Romania pledges to raise defence spending
Romania is to increase its defence budget to 2.5% of GDP from 2023 in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Klaus Iohannis announced on 11 March during a visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Even before the Russia-Ukraine crisis prompted many European countries to reassess their military spending priorities, Romania was one of the ten NATO member states to commit to spending at least 2% of GDP on defence.
Its 2022 budget of RON25.9 billion ($6.14 billion) is equivalent to 2.04% of GDP and marked a 14% year-on-year increase.
Additional investment in the defence budget may prompt Romania to resurrect the stalled Agilis armoured vehicle procurement programme with Rheinmetall.
Shephard Defence Insight notes that Romania is also engaged in acquiring four Gowind new-build multirole corvettes for €1.6 billion, designed by Naval Group but constructed locally. However, this programme has also stalled.
Other major ongoing defence investment programmes in Romania include the acquisition of 32 ex-Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16 jets, approved by the Romanian parliament in December 2021 for €454 million ($515 million).
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