By Marine Strauss
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Belgium agreed on Thursday to inject an extra billion euros into its defence forces, on top of 10 billion euros ($10.98 billion) already agreed, Belgian newspaper l'Echo said, prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed new investment ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday.
"We will announce additional investment in our operational ability of our defence," De Croo told reporters on his way to the NATO summit, without giving details.
Western leaders will agree to strengthen their forces in Eastern Europe and increase military aid to Ukraine as the Russian assault on its neighbour entered its second month.
The new Belgian investments aim at reinforcing defences by 2030, including developing a cybersecurity unit in the army, replenishing stocks of fuel and munitions, equipment and supplies and improving intelligence and communication systems, the newspaper said.
NATO member states are supposed to contribute more than 2% of their GDP annually. Belgium is currently spending 1.2% and this will increase to 1.54% with the latest investments.
The Belgian army is looking to recruit 2,500 soldiers in 2022 to reinforce its military, currently standing at around 25,000.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 on what he calls a "special military operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" Ukraine. Ukraine and the West say Putin launched an unprovoked war of aggression.
(Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine, editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Nick Macfie)