03:36 GMT07 July 2020
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    LONDON (Sputnik) - Europe became a global leader in terms of growth in real defense spending — spending adjusted for inflation — in 2017, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said Wednesday in its annual report that assesses the military capabilities of countries.

    "Europe was fastest-growing region for real-terms defense spending in 2017. While this could be the result of US pressure, it also reflects changing threat perceptions," the report was quoted as saying on the IISS Twitter page.

    According to the report, the world's top five defense budgets of 2017 were the United States ($602.8 billion), China ($150.5 billion), Saudi Arabia ($76.7 billion), Russia ($61.2billion) and India ($52.5 billion).

    When looking at Europe only, France and the United Kingdom had the largest defense spending at $48.6 billion and $50.7 billion, respectively.

    Despite the fact that Europe was among the regions that were increasing their military outlays in 2016, the growth was quite modest, with only the United Kingdom making it into the top five defense budgets with $52.5 billion.

    READ MORE: Increasing US Defense Budget Unlikely to Influence China's Military Spending

    US President Donald Trump has already pressed European allies to stick to a promise to increase military budgets as the United States offers an increase in its own defense spending in Europe. Trump has also set an example by proposing a $1.7 billion increase in military expenditure in Europe for 2019, as the United States leads NATO efforts to deter Russia.

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    US defense spending, defense spending, report, International Institute for Stragetic Studies (IISS), India, China, Europe, United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia
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