Weapon Makers Expect War in Ukraine to Ramp Up Europe’s Defense Spending

Weapons manufacturers gathered at an arms fair in Saudi Arabia expect Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to prompt an increased defense spending in Europe, led by Germany. The fair, attended by nearly 600 arms manufacturers, is taking place as the Russian assault on Ukraine continues.

The Russo-Ukrainian conflict has reinvigorated interest in security issues after European states had cut defense spending for years.

Germany has decided to ramp up defense spending over 2% of its GDP recently. Denmark and Poland have also said they would increase defense spending.

German government is expected to buy F-35 stealth fighters from the U.S. but Scholz said the government aims to make future arms purchases from European weapon makers.

Germany is expected to allocate €100 billion this year for a one time increase in defense spending, which is more than double its entire 2021 budget of €47 billion.

Still, some executives of weapons manufacturers are skeptical of any dramatic increase after years of decreased spending and they doubt governments may not follow through on commitments.

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