MADRID – Spain will increase defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product (GDP). In doing so, the government will fulfill the promise made to NATO.
“The commitment of the government of Spain is to increase defense spending to 2%, according to the commitment to NATO,” the prime minister announced during an interview with La Sexta. “We must be aware that we are at a decisive moment for the EU and international relations,” Sanchez warned. He went on to say that “stopping the war” means stopping Putin.
Yacht of oligarch seized
After his explanations about defense spending, the prime minister announced the authorities in Barcelona had seized a yacht belonging to a Russian oligarch in the port of Barcelona. The value of the vessel is estimated at €140 million. The measure is part of the EU’s sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
According to the prime minister, the sanctions “against Putin’s regime and the oligarchs” are beginning to have an effect. In this regard, Sánchez referred to the “preliminary immobilisation” of the 85-metre yacht and announced that more seizures will follow.
The Prime Minister did explain these are complex operations because the owners of the yachts own many, partly protected, companies. As a result, European and international intelligence services have to exchange a lot of information prior to a seizure.
“We need to act strongly and hit hard Putin and the oligarchs. They have enriched themselves thanks to his regime and thanks to the suppression of the Russians,” Sánchez added.
Public defense spending in Spain increased by €381.7 million, or 4.47%, to €15,730.3 million, or 2.66% of total government spending in 2020. This figure means that government spending on defense reached 1.4% of GDP in 2020. The Ministry of Defense budget for the year 2022 will increase by 7.87 percent compared to the previous year. This is according to the General State Budget (PGE) project approved by the Council of Ministers in October.
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