Latvian government confirms increased defense spend

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The Latvian government on Tuesday supported a gradual increase in the defense budget over the three years, reaching 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.

The supported amendments to the Law on the Financing of National Defense stipulate that in 2023 the budget will be increased to not less than 2.25 percent of the forecasted GDP for the respective year.

In 2024, the budget is planned to be not less than 2.4 percent of the forecasted GDP for the respective year, but in 2025 and subsequent years - not less than 2.5 percent of the forecasted GDP.

The law will enter into force on the day after its promulgation by the President, but first the amendments will have to be approved by the Saeima.

The defense budget for 2022 is EUR 758.35 million or 2.2 percent of GDP, and the government's decision envisages a gradual increase over three years, reaching 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025.

The budget increase for the defense sector will invest, for example, in the provision of logistics and supplies, the development of unmanned systems and guided charges, indirect fire support, the mechanization of ground forces and the strengthening of national cyber security capabilities.

Additional funding will also allow achieving the goals of attracting personnel to the National Armed Forces, which are important for the implementation of each capability, as well as will significantly facilitatet the development of the Latvian defense industry.

The defense sector will develop the combat capabilities of the National Armed Forces on the basis of the National Armed Forces Development Plan 2020 to 2032, which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in December 2020.

Estonia and Germany have already announced increases in their defense budgets in the light of changes in the security situation in Europe.

Defense Minister Artis Pabriks hailed the commitment to spending more on defense.


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