On Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that the military spending of European member countries and Canada is planned to increase for the third consecutive year in 2017, and, according to preliminary estimates, expenditure growth will accelerate to 4.3 percent.
In 2017, the expenses of the member countries of the alliance for defense needs will amount to $945.96 billion compared to $920.11 billion in 2016, the NATO report on defense expenditure in 2010-2017 says.
The United States allocates far more than 2 percent of GDP for defense, standing at 3.58 percent in 2017. The other NATO members surpassing the two-percent ratio in 2017 are Greece with 2.32, the United Kingdom and Estonia with 2.14 percent each, Romania with 2.02 percent and Poland with 2.01 percent.
During a May 2017 summit in Brussels, the allies decided to draw up annual national plans to increase their defense spending, fulfilling US demands and the decisions made in Wales. The first series of reports on the implementation of these plans will be ready by December, and in February 2018, it will be studied by the defense ministers of the NATO member countries.
It is also noteworthy that the United Kingdom, Belgium and Turkey are the only three countries of the alliance to slash their military spending in 2017.