Lithuania should allocate more than 2 percent of its gross domestic product for its national defence, the country's new defence minister said on Tuesday.
Raimundas Karoblis at the DEFLI TV conference
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

At the same time, Raimundas Karoblis underlined the need to ensure the efficient use of funds currently available for defence.

"The level (of financing) depends on the existing risk level, but I think that the next target should be 2.2 percent or perhaps even 2.4 percent," Karoblis said at a video conference hosted by Delfi.lt on Tuesday.

"But let's first implement what is planned for 2017. Let's make sure that our expenses are transparent and efficient, and we will then speak with the parties and the government about additional sizes, which we really need," he added.

The minister also plans to centralize public procurement procedures in the national defence system to "optimize purchases, step up controls and put into place safeguards."

Lithuania's defence budget next year will amount to 723 million euros, or around 1.8 percent of GDP. The new government expects to meet the 2 percent of GDP target for defense spending in 2018.

Lithuania has been beefing up its defense budget in response of Russia's actions in Ukraine and in the Baltic Sea region.

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