“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has changed the security landscape in Europe. We must continue to strengthen the Norwegian Armed Forces and the defence alliance that we are a part of. We are therefore announcing that Norway will increase its defence spending to a minimum of 2 % of our gross domestic product by 2026 and we will draw up a plan setting out how we will achieve this,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
In 2014, all NATO member countries agreed to meet the 2 % of GDP defence investment guideline by 2024. Nearly ten years have now passed since this goal was set without the specification of a clear Norwegian commitment of 2 % of its GDP. Norway will announce its plan to meet this goal and outline how that will be done at the NATO Summit in Vilnius in June.
“For decades we have enjoyed the benefits of peace and now the price of our insurance premium has gone up. We must devote more of our common resources to defence, security and emergency preparedness. It is necessary to further increase allocations to the Norwegian Armed Forces in the years ahead. And it is necessary for Norway to commit to reaching the 2 % goal by 2026,” added Norwegian Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
The exact amount of funding this will require will depend on the GDP forecast for Norway for 2026, among other things. This is difficult to predict.
“A Norwegian commitment to NATO’s 2 % target is vital to our national security. We are now working on a revised Long-term Defence Plan to be presented next year. It will set out the plan for further strengthening the Norwegian Armed Forces. It is already clear that we need to expand our Armed Forces, and use more resources to enhance our presence throughout our area of national responsibility, particularly in our territorial waters,” stressed Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.