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Latvia Plans to Increase Defense Budget to $492.5Mln in 2017

© Flickr / The US ArmyParatroopers of 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade depart Lielvarde Airbase (NATO), Latvia. File photo
Paratroopers of 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade depart Lielvarde Airbase (NATO), Latvia. File photo - Sputnik International
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Latvia’s defense budget is likely to increase up to 1.7 percent of the GDP or to 449 million euros ($492.5 million) in the year of 2017, which is 0.3 percent higher than this year, the Defense Ministry.

RIGA (Sputnik) — Latvia has been a member of NATO since 2004. In May, the country's government adopted the "national defense concept," which stipulates allocating 1.7 percent of the Latvian GDP to the defense budget by 2017. In 2018, Riga hopes to allocate 2 percent of its GDP on defense to comply with the NATO requirements.

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"This year the defense budget has amounted to 367.86 million euros ($403.5 million), or 1.41 percent of the GDP. The next year an increase of funding up to 449 million euros or 1.7 percent of the GDP is envisaged," the ministry's press service said, as quoted by the Delfi media outlet.

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