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2012.11.22 10:49

President Grybauskaite supports increase in defence spending

Jorge Marcano | The Lithuania Tribune2012.11.22 10:49

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite expressed to reporters that the country’s plans to increase defence spending by 50 million litas (EUR 14.5 million) is entirely consistent with her nation’s capabilities. Nonetheless, she emphasised that the key indicator, the GDP’s share earmarked for defence, remain unaltered.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite expressed to reporters that the country’s plans to increase defence spending by 50 million litas (EUR 14.5 million) is entirely consistent with her nation’s capabilities. Nonetheless, she emphasised that the key indicator, the GDP’s share earmarked for defence, remain unaltered.

In the president’s words, “I know that the outgoing government and the new one will increase the defence funding by what we’re capable of,” said the president at the training detachment in Rukla, central Lithuania. The 2013 budget proposal foresees defence spending increased to 923.9 million litas, in comparison to 2012’s budget containing 870.2 million litas (0.79% of GDP). The Social Democrats support this increase since it leaves the GDP share destined to defence virtually unchanged.

On the issue of calculation, the president expressed caution, since, “calculation methods are a different matter, the share of the GDP, the lines are included and left out, I would not want to discuss this now. I think we will raise (the funding) to the best of our capacities,” concluded the president.

During NATO’s Chicago summit back in May, all political parties in Lithuanian signed an agreement and pledged to fulfil the “systematic increase of defence spending, with the long-term goal of earmarking 2% of the GDP for defence purposes,” as per the agreement signed.

Defence Minister, Rasa Jukneviciene, sees that her Ministry’s budget should grow, “of course, the increase is insufficient. This is what I’ve said at the government’s meeting and it is clearly too little. Could have been more,” the minister concluded expressing that a new government could indeed find another 50 million litas for defence spending.

Lithuania Tribune

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