Lithuanian parliament holding debate on defence funding

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

“During the discussion, we will aim to discuss the course of implementation of the defence agreement, the nearest priority tasks and discuss the preparation of the Lithuanian army reserve and promotion of civil defence,” the committee’s chairman Artūras Paulauskas says.

At the event on Friday, brief speeches will be delivered by Defence Minister Juozas Olekas and Chief of Defence Major General Jonas Vytautas Žukas, the parliament’s Public Relations Division said.

Among those invited to the discussion are heads of parties represented at the Lithuanian parliament, MPs, officials of the Lithuanian army and the Ministry of National Defence, representatives of the Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union and non-governmental organizations contributing to Lithuania’s defence capacities and defence experts.

In spring, main political parties of Lithuania signed an agreement, committing themselves to increasing defence funding to 2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, a defence spending target agreed upon by NATO member-states.

This year, Lithuania’s defence spending stands at 0.89 percent of the GDP, with plans to increase the 2015 defence budget by a third, pulling up the GDP share to 1.11 percent. The defence budget is being increased in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

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