Slovakia to meet NATO defence budget target by 2022
Slovakia will increase its military budget to the NATO target of 2% of gross domestic product by 2022, 2 years earlier than planned, President Zuzana Caputova told NATO officials in Brussels on 25th June.
‘In relation to the 2% of GDP, we are pleased to achieve this target even earlier, in 2022 - that is 2 years earlier’ than previously stated, Caputova said, quoted by Slovak media in Brussels following talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Slovakia, a NATO and eurozone member state of 5.4 million people, currently spends 1.73% of its GDP on defence, according to the 2019 state budget.
Slovakia had earlier committed to reach NATO's recommended 2% of GDP military spending target in 2024.
NATO member states agreed to the spending target in 2014.
Bratislava will spend nearly €900 million ($1.02 billion) on defence in 2019, the finance ministry said.
Defence Ministry state secretary Robert Ondrejcsak told AFP on 25th June that most of this budget will be spent on a comprehensive modernisation of the country's army.
‘We will soon get rid of technical dependence on Russia,’ he said.
Ondrejcsak was referring to Slovakia's current dependence on Russian military hardware, a legacy of its past in the Communist bloc before 1989.
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