Pabriks: by spending 2% of GDP on defence we are significantly strengthening the combat capabilities of the Latvian Army
The 2019 Consolidated Budget Law passed by the parliament of the Republic of Latvia, Saeima, on 3 April, sets the defence spending at 2% of the GDP, or EUR 636.65 million having reached the increase of EUR 60.3 million if compared to the plan of 2018.
“By allocating 2% of GDP for national defence spending, implemented by the Ministry of Defence, we are demonstrating our commitment to meeting NATO targets and significantly strengthening the combat capabilities of the Latvian Army. Funding will facilitate development of strategic infrastructure, modernisation of weapons and equipment. However, the overarching objective is to make sure armed forces and National Guard have excellent working conditions,” stressed Defence Minister Pabriks.
In 2019, defence expenditure will include funding for development of military infrastructure and additional equipment required to ensure improved armed force service conditions. Defence sector will continue to upgrade its combat capabilities and NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle group Latvia host nation support to ensure appropriate military capabilities of the National Armed Forces. A new pay scale and bonus schemes for National Guard units of the Latvian Armed Forces will also be introduced in scope of developing military and National Guard remuneration policy.
In 2019, Ministry of Defence will also fund the opening of mapping and other geospatial data for public access. Another line of funding is development of Youth Guard, including education/training quality enhancement and gradual upscaling of national school defence education programme.
Infographic 2019 Defence Budget, prepared by the Ministry of Defence, gives a broader insight into the structure of defence spending. It provides a detailed description of key defence priorities, capability development initiatives and respective funding needs. Infographic also offers a historical breakdown of medium-term national defence spending in different periods.
Infographic also contains a breakdown of defence spending by largest capability development projects and budget lines:
• 2019 Defence Budget will have three main lines: personnel (35%) investment (32%) and maintenance (31%) costs.
• In 2019, most of the capability development project funding will be invested in the indirect fire support and reconnaissance, further mechanisation of the Land
Force Mechanised Infantry Brigade, rearming of the Army and stockpiling of ammunition, crisis management command, control and communications assurance.
National defence spending reached the 2% of the GDP in 2018. Latvia has, thus, complied with minimum defence spending standard of 2% of GDP set by NATO. Latvia is fully committed to keeping the national defence expenditure at this level for the foreseeable future.