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VILNIUS – The United States President Donald Trump has applauded the Lithuanian commitment to raise defense spending and reach the NATO-prescribed margin of 2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
"I greatly value Lithuania's commitment to spend at least two percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2018, which sets an important example of burden-sharing among Allies, as does your advocacy for a stronger NATO role in fighting terrorism," Trump said in a letter to Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite.
In February, the Lithuanian State Defense Council proposed earmarking 2.07 percent of the gross domestic product of the GDP in 2018, with the final decision yet to be made by the parliament.
Lithuania has been raising defense spending since Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.
The Lithuanian President's Office said Trump stated firm commitment to NATO and bilateral defense cooperation with Lithuania, thanking the country for its contribution to security operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.