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.

New chief of defense assumes office

Major General Valdemaras Rupsys is on Wednesday assuming his new office as Lithuania's chief of...

Nauseda unveils names of newly proposed ministers

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda confirmed on Tuesday that the ruling parties are proposing...

Nauseda moves to stop political parties from using state property for free

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda vetoed on Tuesday legislative amendments allowing political...

Prime Minister wins confidence vote in parliament (1)

Saulius Skvernelis won a confidence vote in the parliament on Tuesday, clearing the way for him...

US court dismisses ex-Lithuanian judge's extradition appeal

A US court has dismissed an extradition appeal by Neringa Venckiene , a former Lithuanian judge and...