Sweden adds another SEK 700 million to its 2024 defence spending

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden has again boosted its planned defence budget for 2024, taking the total planned increase for the year to 27 billion crowns ($2.44 billion) and exceeding the NATO threshold of 2% of GDP, the government said on Monday.

The defence minister announced that Sweden would add 700 million to the defence in its upcoming autumn budget, lifting the overall defence spending to 119 billion crowns in 2024, almost double that of 2020.

The spending is expected to be equivalent to 2.1% of Swedish GDP, he said.

"We are in the most serious security policy situation since the end of the Second World War," Minister of Defence Pal Jonson told a news conference.

Sweden is scrambling to boost its defence following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.

Sweden was invited to join NATO in 2023 but is waiting for Turkey and Hungary to approve its application.

($1 = 11.0737 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Johan Ahlander, editing by Essi Lehto and Louise Rasmussen)