Why Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Could Spark a NATO Defense Spending Spree

Benoit Tessier | Reuters

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is unleashing a new era of military spending across Europe. Member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, such as Germany, have done an about-face on military spending in recent weeks.

"The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a wake-up call for a lot of Germans, for politicians, and for voters, who previously I think, would have been skeptical that military power could still be an important tool of influence in Europe today," said Sophia Besch, senior research fellow at the Center for European reform, in an interview with CNBC.

Poland has moved to increase defense spending to 3% of GDP. Germany has signed a deal to buy F-35 fighter jets, and several NATO allies are looking to upgrade from Soviet-era equipment, such as Mig-29s and Russian-produced surface-to-air missile systems, to U.S.-made weapon. The United States, the top military spender in the NATO alliance by far, is looking at increasing its own defense budget while selling high-tech arms to friendly nations.

Watch the video above to find out how the Russian invasion of Ukraine could set off a surge in military spending across Europe.

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