Sunak Says UK to Raise Defense Spending Amid Global Threats

Britain will raise defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2030 in a “most dangerous” world, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Tuesday during a visit to Poland.

The commitment came as NATO countries face pressure to raise defense spending in the face of global threats, particularly from Russia.

“In a world that is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold War, we cannot be complacent,” Sunak told reporters in Warsaw, where he held a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The increase in spending from 2.3 percent will see the UK become one of the highest spenders on defence in the 32-member defense alliance after the United States, the British government said.

It means the UK is expected to spend 87 billion pounds ($108.3 billion) on defense in 2030-31, an increase of 23 billion pounds ($28.6 billion) over current levels.

“I believe we must do more to defend our country, our interests, and our values,” Sunak said, announcing “the biggest strengthening of national defence for a generation.”

Western nations are under pressure to boost defense funding following Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor Ukraine as well as the threat of escalation in the Middle East.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen recently called for a “European awakening on defence and security.”

Brussels is set to come up with more proposals for financing the defense push by a summit of EU leaders in June.

Sunak has also faced calls from his Conservative Party to boost defense spending, with some calling for a level of three percent of GDP.

On Tuesday, Sunak also announced 500 million pounds ($622.6 million) additional funding for Ukraine’s war effort against Russia.

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