Estonia and Poland join The United States, United Kingdom and Greece as the only five NATO countries to meet their NATO defence spending commitments for 2015 according to a report released by NATO on Tuesday. NATO members are expected to allocate at least 2% of their GDP to their defence budgets.
Despite Russia’s growing regional assertiveness, Latvia and Lithuania have committed to marginal increases in their defence budgets and remain among NATO countries with the smallest defence budgets. Russia’s Arctic activity hasn’t motivated Canada to increase it’s defence spending, which remains at a low 1% of GDP and ranks the North American country with Italy, which is among six NATO members that are cutting defence budgets.
The figures were released just as NATO defense ministers are scheduled to meet in Brussels. U.S. plans to pre-position heavy military equipment in Eastern Europe are planned for discussion as is a streamlining of NATO decision making to respond to the ongoing threat from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.