Lithuania is to spend 1.79% of its GDP on defence next year, according to the draft budget for 2017.

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© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius says that the budget for the Ministry of National Defence will grow €150 million compared to this year.

"The government has already raised defence spending from 0.77% at the start of its term in office to 1.79% in the 2017 budget draft," Butkevičius said in a press release.

This means that defence spending would grow by about €150 million to reach €725 million next year.

The government plans that the share of GDP that Lithuania spends on its military will reach the 2% target set by NATO as yearly as in 2018.

For many years, Lithuania was far behind NATO Allies in terms of defence funding, but started increasing the financing considerably over the last few years in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine and its military activity in the Baltic Sea region.

This year, Lithuania ranked among the top ten countries of the Alliance in terms of defence spending, according to NATO.

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