Grybauskaitė pledges to monitor defence spending closely

DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

“I now have a new political adviser who will be directly responsible for [the supervision of] national defence purchases. We will definitely directly monitor the purchase plans, of course without participating, but we will definitely monitor the plans,” the president said in a Friday interview with M-I Plus radio station.

She said improving national defence will be one of the driving policy objectives of her second presidential term.

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“If I ask for and want more funds for national defence, then, with no doubt, I will monitor and control for it to be spent in a transparent and most efficient way for our national defence. Otherwise I would not have the moral right to ask for more funds. So, I also take responsibility,” Grybauskaitė said.

Earlier this month, the Seimas of Lithuania decided to allocate an additional 130 million litas (around EUR 38 million) to national defence. Lithuania’s national defence budget now exceeds 1 billion litas, or 0.88 percent of the GDP. Next year, Lithuania’s government plans to raise the budget to reach 1 percent of the national GDP, and 2 percent by 2020.

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