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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 16.08.2018, 14:38

Latvia's defense spending may be under 2% of GDP due to strong economic growth this year - Rinkevics

BC, Riga, 17.07.2018.Print version

Latvia's gross domestic product this year may increase more than the government has projected, in which case Latvia's defense spending will be below 2% of GDP, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) said in an interview with LNT television this morning, informs LETA.

The proportion of GDP that goes to national defense is measured at the end of each year, based on the actual, not projected, budget data. "Our determination is one thing, but the actual data will be clear at the end of the year," said the minister.


Taking into consideration that Latvia's economic development has been faster than anticipated, there is a significant risk that defense spending will not amount to 2% of GDP this year. "We won't have these 2% [of GDP]. Maybe something closer to 1.9%. Therefore we have to look for additional financing [for defense] already this year, if we do want to honor our commitment [to NATO]," emphasized Rinkevics.


He also reiterated that Latvia should increase defense spending to more than 2% of GDP. In Rinkevics' opinion, increasing defense spending to 2.5% of GDP in five years would be an optimum choice.

 





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