navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook-circle snapchat-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square googleplus history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share share2 sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

Latvia, Lithuania To Raise Defense Spending

July 29, 2015 (Photo Credit: Petras Malukas/AFP)

WARSAW — Following a meeting in Vilnius, Latvia’s and Lithuania’s defense ministers have announced plans to increase their countries’ military spending — to 2 percent and 1.5 percent of their gross domestic products, respectively, local broadcaster LSM reports.
Latvian Defensce Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said that he and his Lithuanian counterpart, Juozas Olekas, also discussed sending Latvian military instructors to Ukraine to assist with training in support of that government’s battle against Russia-backed insurgents in the country’s east. Lithuania already has deployed military instructors to Ukraine.
Commenting on Latvia’s plan to raise its defense expenditure, Bergmanis said he hoped his country will "be able to take great strides ahead just like our neighbors did."
Under the plan, Riga is to increase its defense spending to 2 percent of its GDP by 2018, the Latvian Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Other issues discussed by the two officials during a recent meeting included a project to set up a mid-range air defense system to be operated by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
At the meeting, Olekas said some of the major areas for improving defense cooperation between the Baltic states include "countering hybrid threats and stepping up cooperation with Poland and the Nordic countries," according to a statement released by the Lithuanian Defence Ministry.
The meeting in Vilnius marked Bergmanis’ first foreign visit in his capacity as defence minister. He was appointed to head the ministry by the country’s parliament earlier this month, replacing Raimonds Vejonis, who was elected Latvia’s president. Both politicians are from the Latvian Green Party.


Next Article