Lithuanian State Defence Council advises to expand defence spending

DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Presidential adviser for national security Valdemaras Sarapinas said that the defence budget will be expanded in the framework of the agreement of political parties to have it reach 2 percent of the GDP by the year 2020.

“We will seek to make [the increase] consistent with the provisions of the agreement of political parties to put defence funding at 2 percent [of the GDP] in 2020. It is yet hard to say what the process will be next year,” Sarapinas told BNS on Monday.

In his words, the decision of the State Defence Council has been put in writing.

He said that bigger defence budget “will allow increasing the number of troops, purchasing modern munitions, military equipment, expanding and improving training grounds and other military infrastructure to facilitate training of our troops and host Allies from other NATO member-states”.

In July, the Defence Ministry said the 2015 defence budget should grow to 1.381 billion litas, which would be more than 1.03 percent of the GDP.

This year’s defence budget consists of 980 million litas, in addition to another 130 million litas added in mid-2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis.

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