Prague: Czech President Petr Pavel has signed a law that raises the country’s annual defence spending to at least 2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), his office said in a statement.
The legislation, which will come into force in July and apply to next year’s state budget, aims to provide stable funding for costly defence projects to modernize the military, Xinhua news agency reported citing the statement as saying.
This commitment aligns with a 2006 agreement among members of the NATO, which obligates them to allocate 2 percent of their GDP on defense to maintain the alliance’s military readiness.
The Czech Republic has repeatedly pledged to increase its defence spending.
The government’s plans have so far included defence spending of 130 billion Czech crowns ($5 billion).
To achieve the 2 per cent target, the Defence Ministry’s budget would increase by about 21.5 billion Czech crowns in 2024, the Czech News Agency reported.
Last month, the government approved a plan to purchase 246 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles from Sweden.
The deal, valued at 59.7 billion Czech crowns, was described by local media as “the largest army purchase in the modern history of the Czech Republic and one of the largest state orders ever”.
The delivery of the first vehicles is anticipated in 2026, with completion by 2030.