Agreement on the guidelines for the Lithuanian defence policy signed

Date

2018 09 10

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The Lithuanian parliamentary parties have signed an Agreement on the guidelines for the Lithuanian defence at the Government Office.

The Agreement covers Lithuania's main defence policy principles, provision of adequate defence funding, strengthening of the Lithuanian military and solutions to personnel challenges, improvement of the public image of the military service, and enhancement of the resilience of the general public as well as State authorities to hybrid threats.

"By signing this Agreement today, we have clearly demonstrated that despite the mutual sarcastic remarks and political quarrels, the ruling majority and the opposition are capable of uniting and sitting down at the same table for the sake future security of Lithuania. We have achieved a lot over the past several years. Lithuania's defence funding has rebounded and has already reached 2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product this year. Evidently, we must strive for a qualitative breakthrough in our capacities, which requires consistent funding increases and a clear direction", says Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

The Agreement makes a commitment for regular increases in defence funding to achieve a minimum of 2.5 per cent of the GDP for national defence by 2030, a 0.5 per cent increase over this year's target.

The document sets out the general development priorities for the armed forces, with a special focus on building air force and land force capacities and undertakes to ensure funding for the intelligence services as well as to support cyber-security capabilities. Recognizing the added value of military service in strengthening public resilience and defensive potential, also in view of the overall situation concerning the possibilities and needs for building, modernising and infrastructure development of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, a commitment has been made to consider the introduction of universal military service in 2022.

The political parties have undertaken to join forces to resist any irresponsible attempts to set defence funding against other sensitive areas.

The Agreement pays special attention to the prevention of hybrid threats: in the light of the threats and risks to national security and public resilience, the Agreement envisages the development of a national strategy for the protection against hybrid risks. Implementation of this strategy will require enhanced threat monitoring as well as readiness to prevent and manage them, and the relevant coordinating unit of the Government will have to involve national authorities, the general public, non-governmental organisations and the media into this process.

Throughout the term of the Agreement, the Lithuanian Government, together with the delegated representatives of the signatory political parties will discuss and evaluate the progress of implementing the Agreement on an annual basis, before the approval of the national budget.

The Agreement was signed on behalf of the signatory political parties by Ramūnas Karbauskis, Chairman of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union; Gabrielius Landsbergis, Chairman of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats; Eugenijus Gentvilas, Chairman of the Liberal Movement; Gediminas Kirkilas, Chairman of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labour Party, and Valdemar Tomaševski, Chairman of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance.

Agreement among the political parties represented in the Seimas of the republic of Lithuania on the lithuanian defence policy guidelines