Seimas panel head to propose to raise intelligence body funding by EUR 4 mln - media

Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense, will propose to increase next year's budget allocations for the Lithuanian State Security Department, or VSD, by 4.2 million euros, the daily Lietuvos Žinios reported on Friday.

The lawmaker told the paper that the extra funding would bring the intelligence agency's spending to last year's level, making it sufficient not only for its day-to-day activities, but also for a qualitative leap.

"Last year, a wage reform was carried out and certain technological breakthrough projects were launched. What we need now is to keep the same level of funding," Bakas said.

"I'll try to convince the prime minister and my colleagues that budget allocations to VSD should be higher" he added.

Under the central government’s draft budget for 2019, funding for VSD is planned to be cut by 6.7 million euros on the grounds that construction on the agency's new building has been completed.

Aurelija Katkuvienė, head of strategic communication at VSD, said that the budget cut would seriously affect the agency's activities.

"We would perform our activities with the allocated budget, but the implementation of intelligence tasks would be complicated. We would suspend development projects and would focus on the biggest threats," she said.

Source: BNS
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