Macedonia and Serbia have the highest defense costs in the region

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According to the recently published Balkan Defense Monitor 2024, Serbia is the leading country in the region in terms of defense spending, which amounted to 2% of its GDP in 2023, followed by N. Macedonia with 1.7% and Albania with 1.6%. The latter two countries, both of which are NATO members, are projected to reach the Alliance’s 2% target in 2024.

Albania and Macedonia are also projected to overtake Serbia, which is expected to fall to third place in the region at 1.8% in 2024.

Croatia, another NATO member, has kept its defense spending at about 1.5 percent of its GDP for the past three years. Meanwhile, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina lag behind the rest of the Balkans, with projected defense spending of just 1% and 0.7% in 2023.

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