Media: Serbia will spend almost half of the military budget on new weapons

The Draft Law on the Budget envisages that Serbia will allocate more than 1.3 billion euros for defense in the coming year, or about two percent of the projected gross domestic product (GDP), which is proportional to the country’s economic strength, more than most European NATO members allocate.

According to the Balkan Security Network portal, Serbia has budgeted almost 161 billion dinars for defense, and in the budget, investments in new weapons are at an extremely high level, for which 44.9 percent of all funds will be spent.

“If the draft law on the budget is adopted, Serbia will have proportionately more money for defense in relation to the country’s economic strength than most of the European NATO members who have not reached the recommended two percent of GDP. In the context of 2022, Romania allocated as much for defense (1.99 percent) and Croatia (2.03 percent), and soon Montenegro too,” the text reads.

39.5 percent of the budget is earmarked for personnel costs, 14.8 percent for operations, and 0.8 percent for construction.

NATO recommends its members to also set aside about two percent of GDP, but that half goes to personnel expenses, 30 percent to operations and only 20 percent to investments.

From the new budget, Serbia decided mostly on the procurement of weapons and military equipment, for which 616 million euros are planned. 542 million euros will be allocated for salaries, contributions, per diems and allowances of employees, 203 million euros for operating costs, and around 11 million euros for building or repairing facilities.

“According to the planned Serbian defense budget for next year, the share of investments in weapons and infrastructure will amount to 45.7 percent and is most similar to Greece and Hungary,” the text reads.

The Serbian Army, unlike other armies, also has a specific additional cost, the constant engagement of personnel and equipment in the Land Security Zone, where, in addition to the strain on people, the constant costs of fuel, food and utility services are paid at several dozen small military bases.

“Although it is indisputable that the Armed Forces need new weapons and equipment, military training and exercises must not suffer. Soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers should be well trained so that they can use these weapons effectively. And money is important for training, and that is why a more even distribution of money in the budget of the Ministry of Defense is needed,” the portal’s analysis assesses.

By Editor

Leave a Reply