VILNIUS, March 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Lithuania has to increase the funding of its defense needs up to 2% of the GDP within the next 5 years, says the Baltic state’s President Dalia Grybauskaite.
In her annual address to the parliament she called “for pooling efforts and preparing for new challenges.”
“It is necessary to urgently upgrade the national agreement of political forces not only on foreign and security policy, but also on adequate defensefinancing,” Grybauskaite said, stressing the need for lifting defense funding to 2% of the GDP. “There is no other way. We should be able to defend ourselves before we get assistance.”
Member-states of the North Atlantic Alliance concluded a kind of an unofficial agreement obliging to invest funds equal to 2% of the GDP into military. Lithuania has never invested such funds into its armed forces. At the moment it allocates the sum equal to 0.8% of the GDP.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said by 2016 the country might increase this amount to 1%, refraining from making any forecasts for the future.