Lithuania to deepen commitments to NATO

  • 2012-07-03

VILNIUS – President’s National Security Affairs Advisor Jonas Markevicius says that greater fulfillment of commitments to collective defense of NATO members should be the priority of Lithuania.

"The need to deepen the commitments on collective defense of NATO members should be the priority in the field of defense," presidential adviser said in an interview on Tuesday morning to radio Ziniu Radijas.

Markevicius claims that Lithuania should be consistent and carry on implementing the documents it has already received, including, political parties' agreement on defense priorities and the national security strategy.

NATO members are committed to seek 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the defense funding. However, Lithuania did not allocate to defense 2 percent even during its economic boom. Currently, the defense funding in Lithuania does not even reach 1 percent. According to the revised GDP of Lithuania, it allocates to defense 0.85 percent.

Lithuania is in a second last place of all NATO members according to the percentage of GDP that a country allocates to defense. The lower figure is only indicated in Luxembourg which has more than one hundred and fifty soldiers in its armed forces.

NATO average is 2.8 percent. Lithuanian defense funding is also one of the lowest in Central Europe. Latvia allocates to national defense 1.2 percent of GDP, Estonia - 1.9 percent, Poland - 1.7 percent, Belarus - 1.5 percent and Russia - by 3.5 percent.