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Estonia 21st most heavily militarised country in world, Lithuania 58th, Latvia 78th

  • 2014-12-12
  • from wire reports, BONN

The most heavily militarised of the Baltic countries is Estonia, according to the Global Militarisation Index compiled by experts at the Bonn International Center for Conversion: it is the 21st most heavily militarised country in the world; Lithuania is 58th in the world, while Latvia appears in 78th place.

Estonia is currently the only one of the Baltic countries to meet NATO's benchmark of spending 2 percent of GDP on defence. At present, Latvia and Lithuania spend less than 1 percent of GDP on defence. The Estonian minister for defence, Sven Mikser, recently urged the other two Baltic countries to increase their spending in this area.

The world's most militarized country is Israel, followed by Singapore, Armenia, Syria, Russia, Cyprus, South Korea, Jordan, Greece and Azerbaijan.

The index is based on data from the year 2013, and covers a total of 152 countries.

Estonia also appears in the top ten of the most heavily militarised countries in Europe, which are Armenia, Russia, Cyprus, Greece, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia and Turkey.

Between 2009 and 2013, expenditure on equipment and procurement in European NATO states fell by more than $9 billion.

The Global Militarisation Index depicts the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus in each state in relation to society as a whole.

The world's least militarised countries are Panama, Costa Rica and Haiti.