Latvia's defense spending 1.4% of GDP next year

Next year the defense spending of Latvia will constitute 1.4% of the GDP. It's a great step, and one valued by our NATO partners, said Minister of Defense Raimonds Bergmanis in an interview to Latvian Radio on Thursday.

In the NATO Wales summit the member countries of the alliance agreed to increase defense spending by 2020. Some of them agreed to do it faster than that. Poland has decided to increase the expenditures to 2% of GDP this year, while Lithuania's defense spending will be 1.5% next year, but Latvia's will reach 1.4%, said the Defense Minister.

"This is a great and important step - this year we're spending 1%, while next year it'll be 1.4%. All our allies value this. They see that, despite the current situation, we are doing our best to keep up to the agreements," said Bergmanis.

Besides that, according to the minister, Latvia does a lot to increase NATO presence. For example, NATO headquarters are being built here, and an agreement has been reached with the US about deploying heavy weaponry.

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