Government offers parties to sign new defense agreement
Lithuania's government is offering parliamentary parties to sign an agreement on the country's defense policy for the upcoming decade.
"Party leaders have been offered an agreement on defense priorities to ensure continuity as governments change. They will be expected to express their opinion," he said.
According to the draft agreement, political parties would take on the commitment to gradually increase defense spending to 2.5 percent GDP by 2030, which is 0.5 percentage point more than planned this year.
The document, received by BNS Lithuania, also defines principles on how to strengthen different types of army. It does not, however, contain a provision on universal conscription and only states that decisions on the introduction of universal conscription would be made in 2022.
The agreement will also commit leaders to ensure proper funding for intelligence services and cyber security capabilities.
"This national agreement is in force until 2030 and will be implemented through constant activity of state institutions and the adoption of legal acts, irrespective of election cycles, campaigns, results and changes in the political government," the document reads.
The leaders of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, the Social Democratic Labor Party of Lithuania, the Order and Justice party and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance are invited to sign this agreement.
Political parties signed the latest agreement on defense and security policy in 2014 soon after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, and its key provision to increase defense spending to 2 percent GDP is set to be implemented this year.
There were attempts early this year to sign a new agreement but they failed due disagreements on further increase in defense spending.