Romanian Parties Agree to Raise Defence Spending

January 13, 2015
Main political parties have agreed that the country needs to spend at last 2 per cent of GDP on the military in line with NATO advice.

Leaders of all parliamentary parties on Tuesday are to sign a political agreement ensuing that at least 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, GDP, will go on the defence budget by 2017.

The move follows the initiative of Romania’s new President, Klaus Iohan, who has set increased defence spending as a priority.

This comes after NATO called on all its members to step up their military capacities.

This year, Romania is to allot 11.9 billion lei (2.6bn euro), 1.71 per cent of GDP, on the military.

Romania has not concealed its concern over the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine, and wants to upgrade military capabilities in response.

Authorities are concerned that Russia may extend its operations in Ukraine to include the break-away Russian-speaking region on Transnistria in neighbouring Moldova. Russian troops are already stationed in the self-proclaimed, unrecognised Republic of Transnistria.

Romania has a 694km-long border with Ukraine and has been among the strongest regional backers of Western sanctions against Russia since it annexed the Crimean peninsula.

In October 2013, the installation of US missile interceptors began at the Deveselu military base in southern Romania.

The interceptors are to be installed at Deveselu by 2015 as part of the second phase of the US-led project to build a missile shield in Europe – a scheme viewed with deep suspicion by Russia. The work at Deveselu has involved an estimated investment of $400 million in the base.