In 2023 Lithuania’s national defence budget will reach 2.52 percent of GDP and even more if a necessity arises to further increase defence spending. The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania passed the State Budget 2023 that enables further enhancement of the national defence capabilities.
A decision was taken to allow for an increase of defence appropriations in the budget in the course of 2023 up to 3 percent of GDP. Borrowing on behalf of the state is authorized in case the implementation of the military infrastructure projects for ensuring a speedy Host Nation Support to NATO Allies in Lithuania requires more funds.
“Taking into account the current security situation and the need to have new military infrastructure as soon as possible for our and our Allies’ military, we may fall short of funds with the 2.52 percent of GDP defence spending approved for next year, therefore we need the possibility to borrow. Our goal was always to reach the 3 percent of GDP limit for defence budget and we have a clear plan for spending the appropriations. The planned MoD budget will ensure that the long-term defence needs are satisfied, capabilities are replenished, which is important as we intend to continue further rendering military assistance to Ukraine,” says A. Anušauskas.
The appropriations in the State Budget 2023 for the Ministry of National Defence amount to EUR 1774.6 million, which is nearly EUR 127.6 million than in 2022. Defence appropriations in 2022 reached EUR 1647.4 million as additional EUR 446 million was appropriated in the course of the year. The budget of the next year retains the level of 2.52 percent of GDP.
The budget approved by the Seimas includes additional 3.6 million for the Lithuanian Riflemen Union as compared to the draft National Defence Budget the Government tabled in October.
The draft National Defence Budget prioritizes modernization and development of the Lithuanian Armed Forces (firepower, maneuverability, force protection, more ammunition stocks), service pay and better social securities, Host National Support infrastructure development and creation of conditions for U.S. and other Allied troops deploying in Lithuania, public resilience and active involvement in strengthening national defence, and cyber security enhancement.