The Swedish government today said it wants to increase its defense budget by 28%, putting it on track to reach the military spending target 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) set by the NATO alliance, which the Scandinavian country is preparing to join.
Unveiling a defense bill for 2024, Sweden’s center-right coalition government has said military spending would increase by a total of $2.4 billion. Of that amount, approximately $63 million will be spent on Sweden’s future membership of NATO.
In May last year, Sweden and neighboring Finland sought protection under NATO’s security umbrella after Russia invaded Ukraine.
However, Sweden, which abandoned a long history of military nonalignment, is still waiting to become the 32nd member of the alliance. Finland joined earlier this year.
New entries must be approved by all existing members, but Turkey has so far refused to ratify Sweden’s application. Ankara said this was because Sweden was refusing to extradite dozens of people suspected of links to Kurdish militant organizations.
Source: Oman News Agency