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Bulgaria among Countries with Military Spending of 2% of GDP, Will Keep Course until 2032 – Defence Minister

Bulgaria is among the NATO countries that this year achieved the target of defence spending equal to 2% of GDP and will continue this in the years until 2032, even exceeding the target in some, Defence Minister Todor Tagarev told Bulgarian journalists here on Thursday, where he participated in the meeting of his counterparts at the NATO headquarters.

“For 2026, we have serious payments on already concluded contracts, then the [defence] budget is higher at around 2.4% of GDP,” he said. “We need to start the process of rearmament on a larger scale, we need to catch up decades of lagging behind,” the Minister explained. A significant part of this budget, about one-third, is for investing in new capabilities and this is quite well received by Bulgaria’s allies, Tagarev added.

Referring to remarks about NATO countries’ military spending, made by former US President and current presidential candidate for another term Donald Trump, Tagarev said that Trump is in an election campaign. “This was his position when he was President as well, it was completely understandable,” the Bulgarian Defence Minister said. He explained that all NATO countries adopted a decision 10 years ago to achieve defence spending equal to 2% of their GDP. “The fact that some have not yet reached those 2% is worrying because we have to share the burden together,” Tagarev added.

Regarding the expected government rotation Tagarev pointed out that he was invited to be part of the Cabinet by Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov. “We work extremely well with him and Deputy Prime Minister Mariya Gabriel,” he added.