Kenneth Lu (CC BY 2.0)

Russia and its NATO neighbors in the Baltic have expanded their military budgets, but the U.S. continues to lead the world in military spending by far. The U.S. spent $610 billion last year, followed by China’s $216 billion.

The Guardian reports:

Spending on arms will rise this year by 60% in Russia, by 50% in Lithuania, by nearly 20% in Poland, and by nearly 15% in Latvia, says the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Sipri.

Ukraine increased its spending on defence by more than 20% last year and plans to more than double its funding of the armed forces in 2015, it says. Neutral Sweden has agreed to increase its military spending by about 15% over five years. It has also made a unilateral “solidarity declaration” to provide support to any EU member of the Nordic nations that comes under armed attack, the Sipri report notes. …

China, Russia and Saudi Arabia have all substantially increased their military spending, though they still fall well behind the US, which remains the world’s largest spender on arms despite a 20% cut in its defence budget since its peak in 2010.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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