11:49 GMT29 January 2020
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    Nowadays the UK has the biggest defense budget among European countries, which reaches NATO's spending threshold of 2 percent of GDP.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK Minister for Defense People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood has voiced readiness to resign if cost-saving measures, including reducing the army to fewer than 70,000 soldiers, are imposed, The Times newspaper reported on Saturday.

    Ellwood has reportedly shared with his colleagues his "deep discomfort" concerning several cost-saving options that the UK Defense Ministry was facing.

    Other than the army cuts, the possible measures include lowering an order for a new generation of Ajax mini-tanks and postponing the upgrade of a fleet of armored vehicles and tanks, according to the newspaper.

    READ MORE: 'Grim Outlook' as UK Defense Bases Feared Next Terror Target Amid Cuts 'Madness'

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends a ceremony to hand over weapons and military vehicles to servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces in Chuhuiv outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, October 15, 2016
    © REUTERS / Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service
    A decision to slash UK army numbers, if carried out, would reduce it to less than two-thirds the size of France's fighting force, according to The Times.

    In response to Ellwood's claims, the spokesperson of the British Defense Ministry commented on the possible army spending cuts saying that "no decisions have been made and any discussion of the options is pure speculation." He added that the UK has the biggest defense budget in Europe, with the 2017 defense expenditures standing at the point of 36 billion pounds ($48 billion).

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    defense cuts, Tobias Ellwood, United Kingdom
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