OREANDA-NEWS. Global defense spending in 2020 reached a record $1.83 trillion — despite the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent 3.5% contraction in the global economy. This follows from a report published on Thursday, February 25, by the British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Compared to 2019, the increase was 3.9%.

The United States, with $738 billion in arms spending, ranks first on the IISS list, accounting for almost 40% of global arms spending. China's figure is significantly lower — $193.3 billion. At the same time, the increase in total military spending in the Asian region is primarily due to an increase in the defense budget of China, the report continues. The most significant expenses are related to the equipment of the Chinese military fleet, experts say.

As for the average defense spending of European NATO members, it has grown steadily as a percentage of gross domestic product over the past six years — from 1.25% of GDP in 2014 to 1.52% in 2019 — and jumped to 1.64% last year. However, this is still well below the NATO recommendation, that it's members should spend 2% of their GDP on defense by 2024. Only nine countries belonging to the North Atlantic Alliance managed to achieve this target last year.

Earlier American President Joseph Biden confirmed the US commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. «An attack on one is an attack on all», the American leader said.