Latvian defense budget should be 2.5% of GDP, says minister

The defense budget should be around 2.5% of the GDP in the following two to three years, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks told Latvian Radio January 26.

This plan was to be achieved within seven years but due to the current security situation and challenges especially with Russia, it should be accelerated.

The Ministry of Defence estimates that a further €350 million would be needed for this in the next three years, which is similar to the funding that Estonia allocates for defense, armed forces, and internal affairs. Discussions are also taking place in Lithuania, according to Pabriks.

The Minister explained that the Ministry of Defense's plans earlier were based on a long-term outlook of 12 years, but “we see that we do not have time to wait 12 years”.

Additional funding, as explained by the Minister, may also add encouragement for citizens to join the National Guard or to join the professional service.

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