This year, the defense budget reaches 2.2% of GDP. At a press conference after the government meeting Tuesday Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks (For Development/For) pointed out that additional defense projects, as well as an increase in the number of soldiers, have been planned for a while but would not be possible without additional funds. Pabriks emphasized that we cannot sleep on our laurels and rely only on allies.
The budget increase for the defense sector will invest, for example, in the provision of logistics, the development of unmanned systems, indirect fire support, the mechanization of ground forces and the strengthening of national cyber security capabilities.
Additional funding will also be used to attract recruitment to the National Armed Forces, as well as to significantly promote the development of the Latvian defense industry.
"Taking into account the changes in the security situation in Europe, which are related to the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, it is necessary to purposefully strengthen Latvia's security and defense. Increasing the defense budget to 2.5% of gross domestic product will ensure the accelerated development of the combat capabilities of the National Armed Forces, significantly increasing the defense capabilities of our country and NATO,” said Pabriks.
Ministries must now submit a decision within a month on exactly how the increase will take place.
The defense sector will develop the combat capabilities of the National Armed Forces along the lines elaborated in the National Armed Forces Development Plan for 2020 to 2032, which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 14 December 2020.