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2019.12.02 17:00

Lithuania to reach NATO defence spending threshold with €10m less than planned

BNS2019.12.02 17:00

Lithuania is set to reach the NATO spending threshold next year. However, Lithuania's 2020 state budget bill, amended by the country's government, stipulates a drop in defence funding by 10 million euros after the country's growth estimates were changed in November.

1.017 billion euros is allocated for defence in the amended budget bill submitted to the Seimas on Monday, down from 1.027 billion euros planned earlier.

In both cases the GDP percentage stands at 2.02 percent. The change comes after the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development cut Lithuania's growth forecast for next year in November.

Read more: Lithuanian to meet 2 percent GDP defence spending this year, continue military modernisation

The bill for the 2020 state budget states that the government will be able to borrow for defence funding allocations to be "at least 2.02 percent GDP but no more than 2.05 percent GDP".

The previous bill version provided for the possibility to borrow to ensure defence spending amounting to 2.05 percent GDP.

Lithuania's defence budget stands at around 967 million euros, or 2.03 percent GDP.

The country's parliamentary parties, excluding the social democrats, have an agreement in force, stipulating a gradual increase in defence spending for it to reach at least 2.5 percent by 2030.