Seimas speaker urges parties to agree on defense funding of 2.5 pct of GDP
Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis has called upon political parties to support the proposal of the State Defence Council to raise the defence spending to 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
He suggested that the council's position should be stipulated in a party agreement.
"I suggested that we should encourage a party agreement that would be in line with the document and that the agreement, which parties have been failing to sign over the past three months, could be signed to include the document. I am convinced that we should provide the defence with sufficient budget to be able to say that our country is meeting its commitments," Pranckietis of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) told Žiniu Radijas news radio on Wednesday morning.
He refused to comment on LFGU leader Ramūnas Karbauskis' doubts on the bigger defence spending.
On Tuesday, the State Defence Council proposed gradual increase of defence spending to reach the level of 2.5 percent of the GDP in 2030. The council suggested that Lithuania should earmark 2.05 percent of the GDP to defence next year.
This year, Lithuania's defence spending stands at 2.01 percent of the projected GDP, which totals at 873 million euros.