Tonin suggests pushing forward defence spending target by five years

Ljubljana – Defence Minister Matej Tonin indicated Friday that Slovenia might have to push forward its target to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP to 2030, five years sooner than currently planned.

“Given the current situation, given the decisions by the entire alliance, and in particular our European allies, it seems we will have to correct our decision slightly and shift the date of the achievement of 2% defence spending from 2035 to 2030,” Tonin said as he presented the annual report on the readiness of the Slovenian Armed Forces.

A month ago the National Assembly passed a resolution on the long-term development of the armed forces which says that defence spending, projected at 1.4% next year, would increase to 1.5% of GDP by 2024, followed by gradual growth to 2% by 2035.

Tonin said that security should not be taken for granted and required constant care and investment, noting that the current government has started equipping soldiers with modern gear, and renovating army barracks and training grounds.

It has signed an agreement to buy a transport aircraft and is about to order two helicopters. A total of 38 armoured personnel vehicles have been purchased from US provider OshKosh and an additional 37 have been ordered. Pending the entry into force of a special law, eight-wheeled carriers will be purchased from OCCAR.

“Given the current situation in Ukraine, we will additionally strengthen in particular anti-aircraft and anti-tank defence technology,” he said.