Lithuania's defence budget is set to grow by around 400 million litas (EUR 116 million) next year, the country's Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas says.
Juozas Olekas
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

"We have agreed with the parliamentary majority and members of the government, and also with the president, to gradually increase defence spending. Our goal is to reach 2 percent of the GDP by 2020, which needs additional 400 million litas every year, starting from this years' budget. And I hope we will have this growth, perhaps even a bit bigger growth, as we are lagging behind considerably and the tension is much higher," the minister told the Žinių Radijas radio station on Thursday.

In his words, the needs of the defence system are bigger but he understands that other areas need funding as well.

The State Defence Council on Monday proposed to the government to increase funding for the Ministry of National Defence in the next year's budget.

The ministry said in July its budget should increase to 1.381 billion litas and would exceed 1.03 percent GDP, compared to 980 million litas it received this year. Additional sum of 130 million litas was allocated in the middle of this year in response to the Ukrainian crisis.

All NATO countries are committed to earmarking two percent of their GDP for defence purposes. Lithuania has been criticized numerous times for spending only around a half of that.

BNS
Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją skelbti, cituoti ar kitaip atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB "BNS" sutikimo neleidžiama.

Nauseda slams Russia over ceasefire breaches

Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda on Sunday hailed Kyiv's "ambition" to seek peace in eastern...

50 countries ranked by how they collect biometric data and what they do with it

From passport photos to accessing bank accounts with fingerprints , the use of biometrics is...

Liubajevas proposed for head of border guard service

Lithuania's Ministry of the Interior is nominating Rustamas Liubajevas , head of the ministry's...

Lithuania opens visa centers in US

Lithuanian visa centers have been opened in the United States , Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign...

Ruling parties fail in their bid to have election threshold lowered

The ruling parties in Lithuania have failed in their bid to have the existing election threshold for...