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2019.12.09 11:31

€10m less in military spending will affect tactical training, Lithuania's chief of defence says

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS2019.12.09 11:31

A 10-million-euro drop in defence funding under Lithuania's updated budget bill will force the army to reconsider its tactical training plans for the next year, the country's Chief of Defence Valdemaras Rupšys says.

The updated budget bill, put before the Lithuanian Seimas in early December, allocates slightly over 1.017 billion euros for defence due to changes in economic growth forecasts, down from over 1.027 billion euros planned before.

The GDP ratio of defence spending remains unchanged at 2.02 percent.

“It's not a small amount, and when planning next year's spending, we definitely took those 10 million euros into account. But that's a political decision. Of course, it will affect our activity in some way, it will probably affect tactical training as well, and we will have to reconsider our plans slightly,” he told LRT RADIO on Monday.

The chief of defence said the army would not renounce the planned weaponry or military equipment acquisitions nor construction and repair works to save funds.

“But we will not set new goals and tasks,” Rupšys said.

Lithuania's defence spending this year stands at around 967 million euros, or 2.03 percent of GDP.

Lithuania's all major parliamentary parties, except the social democrats, have signed an agreement to gradually increase defence spending to at least 2.5 percent of GDP by 2030.