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Global military spending hits record high

It’s a new record. Global military spending rose again in 2021 as Russia continued to build up its military ahead of its invasion of Ukraine, a leading institute said on Monday, predicting the trend would continue especially in Europe.

On the rise despite Covid-19

Despite the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, global military spending grew by 0.7% last year, according to the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). “In 2021, military spending increased for the seventh consecutive year, reaching $2.1 trillion. This is the highest figure we have ever recorded,” said Diego Lopes da Silva, researcher at Sipri.

Russia’s spending rose 2.9%, for the third year in a row, to $65.9 billion. Russian military spending accounted for 4.1% of the country’s GDP, a level “much higher than the global average”, Lopes da Silva said.

Russia in the lead

Revenues from oil and gas exports allowed the country to fund these large military expenditures. It is difficult to predict whether Russia will be able to maintain this level of spending, however, Lopes da Silva said, due to the wave of sanctions imposed by the West in response to aggression in Ukraine.

In 2014, during the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the country was also targeted by sanctions as energy prices plummeted, making it difficult to assess the effectiveness of the sanctions. “Now (…) we have even tougher sanctions, but we have higher energy prices which can help Russia keep its military spending at this level,” he added.

Source: 20minutes

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