NATO report: Poland among seven members with highest defence spending

Poland is among seven of the 29 NATO countries which reached the alliance's defence spending target of 2 percent of GDP in 2018, NATO annual report indicated on Thursday.

20 years ago Poland joined NATO

On March 12, 1999, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary joined NATO as the first three countries of the former Warsaw Pact and communist bloc.

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Presented by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, the 2018 annual report indicated that Poland’s defense spending in 2018 amounted to 2.05 % of its GDP.

This places Poland among only seven alliance members which have reached the 2 percent threshold: Greece, the UK, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the US. It marks a considerable improvement. In 2014, only three countries dedicated 2 percent or more of GDP for defence.

The US dedicated 3.39 percent of its GDP for defence spending. The country which lags significantly behind is Germany. Despite being the largest economy in Europe, it spent just 1.23 percent of its GDP in 2018. Belgium and Spain remain at below 1 percent of GDP.

The report also showed that the average defence spending of European NATO members was just above 1.5 percent of GDP. It is the highest result in five years.

The 2 percent threshold has become a priority for US President Donald Trump. He repeatedly called all NATO members to contribute more to the alliance’s security and not rely heavily on the US. Given the other members’ lack of financial contribution, he questioned the value of NATO for Washington in such a form.