Of all the Western Balkan countries Serbia had the highest military expenditure in 2019, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The data shows that Serbia invested $1.14 billion in its military in 2019, which is $326 million (43%) more than the year before.
With this increase, Serbia overtook Croatia, which was the biggest spender of 2018. Furthermore, SIPRI ranked Serbia 5th on the list of 15 countries with the biggest annual increase in military expenditure.
SIPRI’s report shows that in 2019 there was a general rise in military investments in the entire region, with Serbia and Croatia leading the way, with around RSD1 billion each allotted for the purpose, RFE reported.
Characteristic of Serbia’s military investments in the past years is a lack of transparency, RFE said, adding that so far there has been no reply from the defence ministry to inquiries about the price of weapons and military equipment Serbia has bought from Russia.