MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The political and military crisis in Ukraine prompted European countries to increase their military spending, an arms watchdog said Monday.
"The Ukraine crisis has fundamentally altered the security situation in Europe, but so far the impact on military spending is mostly apparent in countries bordering Russia," Sam Perlo-Freeman, one of the authors of the report "Trends In World Military Expenditure, 2014", was quoted as saying in the press release issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The institute named Russia, several Central European states, the Baltics and the Nordic nations among the countries that revised its military expenditure amid the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia was the third highest military spenders in the world after the United States and China with $84.5 billion spending on modernization of the Russian armed forces. Its arms procurement is set to increase by 60 percent, though the defense budget might be reassessed due to falling oil prices and economic sanctions imposed by the West over alleged involvement in Ukrainian conflict, the report said.
Sweden has increased its military spending in 2014 in compliance with the national Defense Commission's recommendation and enhanced military cooperation with the NATO and its neighbours.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have also boosted their military spending and sought to position themselves as serious contributors to NATO in 2014.
Global military spending amounted to $1.8 trillion in 2014, showing a fall of 0.4 percent since 2013, according to the report.