VILNIUS - Lithuania took a giant step toward eventual NATO membership Jan. 14 when the Parliament pledged to earmark 2 percent of GDP for defense spending by 2001.The law, drafted by Parliament Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, sets defense spending for 1999 at 1.51 percent of GDP and 1.7 percent to 1.75 percent in 2000. The law was also backed by President Valdas Adamkus."The increase of defense spending will be very healthy for our economics. It means more work places for our people. We must follow other countries, such as the Czech Republic, which plans to spend 2 percent of GDP for defense...
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