Defense Minister of Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis said in a morning program “900 seconds” on LNT TV that in 2016 the military budget will total €350 million or 1.4% of GDP versus €254 million or 1% of GDP in 2015.
The minister said that additional funds are necessary to settle various prior issues, including increase of staff, improvement of infrastructure and air defense systems. “Of course, we will have a bigger army, but it is not easy to ensure it,” he said.
Bergmanis said that this year the competition for the National Defense Academy has been higher than in previous years. “Currently, there are about 5,000 troops in the professional military service, and in the near future this number will be increased to 6,000.”
EADaily reported earlier that the Latvian government plans to increase the defense budget to the level recommended by NATO i.e., 2% of GDP as early as in 2018.