skip to main content

Ukraine conflict: Invasion might fuel more growth in Dutch defence budget

In response to Russia's attack on Ukraine, the Netherlands might expand a planned increase in its defence budget, according to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The Netherlands decided in January, before the invasion began, to boost its defence expenditures by “billions of euros”, moving it close to the NATO goal of spending at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence by 2024, Rutte said. However, the country will “probably need to do more, particularly given what has happened over the last two weeks”, he said.

Rutte made his comments at a London press conference with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau indicated that Canada might be open to more defence spending. Although Canada committed to a 70% increase over 10 years in 2017, “we also recognise that the context is changing rapidly around the world, and we need to make sure that the women and men who serve in the Canadian armed forces have all the equipment necessary to be able to stand strongly,” Trudeau told reporters. “We will continue to look at what more we can do.”

According to the Canadian Department of National Defence, Canada is scheduled to spend 1.48% of its GDP on defence by fiscal year (FY) 2024–25, up from 1.31% in FY 2018–19.

Johnson, who noted that the UK spends about 2.4% of its GDP on defence, declined to comment when asked whether Canada's spending is too low. However, he said, “We've got to recognise that things have changed and that we need a new focus on our collective security, and I think that is increasingly understood by everybody.”

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...