Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Tuesday urged the government to boost defence spending in the face of Russian threats and tame financial populism in the run-up to elections to local governments.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

At a meeting with the cabinet of ministers, Grybauskaitė listed the following priorities: strengthening of military capacities, energy independence, fiscal discipline, preparations for euro adoption, settlement of social issues, support to business due to Russian sanctions and more attention to national minorities.

After the meeting, the president and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius read their statements and refused to answer questions from journalists.

Grybauskaitė listed strengthening of the defence system as the "outstanding task for Lithuania this year."

"First of all, ensuring financing of the national defence next year. It is also crucial to review the army's priorities, restructure and enhance territorial defence capacities and prepare for deterring information attacks. This is to be done by not only the defence but also other institutions with help from us – I will also be part of it," said the president.

In her words, it is also important to implement the plans of establishing the cyber security centre under the Defence Ministry.

Grybauskaitė also warned that the conduct of politicians can be determined by the local government elections planned for early 2015, emphasizing that the next year's budget "should be based on the principle of people's well-being, responsible fiscal politics and tamed financial populism, which may emerge before the elections."

The president said the new budget should also take into consideration the effects of Russian economic sanctions, however, only provide support to transparent businesses.

"First of all, it should help business searching for new, stable and transparent markets. I am accentuating these three indicators, as such assistance will not be provided to any business that will want to continue taking investment risks or aim to do this without transparency. I do not think we should do this, however, it is our duty to hep transparent businesses searching for new transparent markets," said Grybauskaitė.

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