Bulgaria exceeds NATO's defense spending requirements

Photo: © picture-alliance

"With the F-16 deal, Bulgaria will take the top position in NATO when it comes to defense spending," Dnevnik daily writes in an article. Reason for the article became the fact that the government has already transferred 1.256 billion dollars to the US for the purchase of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets. According to NATO recommendations, each country must spend 2% of its gross domestic product for defense annually. 20% of these funds should go for buying new weapons and equipment and Bulgaria will exceed this figure. Because of projects for new weapons for the Navy and ground forces, this is likely to happen once again in 2020. However, the surge in military spending cannot be sustained for years to come and political will in this direction has not been clearly demonstrated, the newspaper points out.

With the recent update of the state budget, the expenditures of the Ministry of Defense for 2019 increased by 1.07 billion euros and reached 1.79 billion euros. According to the spring forecast of the Ministry of Finance, defense spending in 2019 will be 2.61 percent of GDP.

Out of all NATO countries, only the United States has higher defense spending this year – 3.42%. Certainly, the money spent by Bulgaria on defense by the end of 2019 will be much more, Dnevnik writes, suggesting that this country would outperform the United States this year.

According to NATO criteria, 20% of defense spending should go for new weapons and equipment and in this chart Bulgaria would emerge an absolute leader if the Alliance's forecasts are fulfilled. This is so because the money spent on new fighter jets reaches 66.67% of total defense money.

Since 2014, Bulgaria has failed to meet promises of expenditures, as army modernization projects failed. This year's budget envisaged payments for infantry vehicles, two new ships for the Navy and fighter jets. Once the full sum for the purchase of F-16 has been paid, projects for infantry and naval equipment were put off for next year. Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov and senior military officials have said they would like to sign contracts for the two projects this year and pay for them in the next budget period, Dnevnik daily writes.

Editor: Stoimen Pavlov

English: Alexander Markov


More from category

Bulgarian belt buckles and the secrets they hold

One of the most striking elements of the female national costume in Bulgaria are, without doubt, the belt buckles (pafti). Made out of different metals they are ornate, elaborate, decorated with quaint figures and patterns, and are regarded as a..

published on 8/21/19 11:36 AM
Foto: Xinhua / BTA

Balkan Developments

Series of wildfires rage in Greece The high temperatures in combination with strong winds caused a series of wild fires in different regions in Greece. The Greek authorities have launched investigation into the causes of the wildfire, including..

published on 8/19/19 12:59 PM
Pazardzhik ensemble for folklore songs and dances

“Experience Bulgaria” magazine draws inspiration from Bulgarian tradition

The second issue of the magazine “Experience Bulgaria” for 2019 is about to come off the press. “The focus this time is on embroidery,” says publisher Dr. Svetlana Radeva. Dr. Radeva is under the spell of Bulgarian embroidery thanks to..

published on 8/19/19 12:12 PM