Bulgaria recorded the biggest relative increase in military spending globally last year due to the purchase of combat aircraft, a new report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows.
The military expenditure of Bulgaria soared 127% in 2019 to a total of $2.127 billion (1.955 billion euro) as a result of the full payment for eight new combat aircraft ordered last year, SIPRI said in its “Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019” report published on Monday.
In August 2019, Bulgaria’s defence ministry said it transferred to the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in full the agreed sum of $1.2 billion for the delivery of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets along with the related equipment and weapons from the United States.
Elsewhere in Southeastern Europe, Serbia ranks fifth with a $1.144 billion in military spending in 2019, up 43% on 2018. North Macedonia follows in sixth place, with a 30% rise in military expenditure to $151 million.
Bulgaria and Romania increased their military spending in the period between 2010 and 2019 by more than 165% and 154%, respectively, SIPRI said.
Global military expenditure rose to $1.917 trillion in 2019, an year-on-year increase of 3.6%, according to SIPRI. The sum represents 2.2% of the global gross domestic product, which equates to approximately $249 per person.
SIPRI is an international institute based in Sweden, dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.