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Published: 29 november 2012 08:56

Lithuania needs additional 4 million euros for Afghanistan withdrawal

Rasa Juknevičienė
Alfredo Pliadžio nuotr. / Rasa Juknevičienė

Lithuania's Ministry of National Defense needs additional LTL 14 million (over EUR 4 million) in the next year's budget for the planned withdrawal of Lithuanian troops from Afghanistan's Ghor province, the country's outgoing Minister of National Defense Rasa Juknevičienė says.

Lithuania usually spends around LTL 50 million for its participation in the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan, but due to the planned withdrawal, the spending will grow by over a third.

"We need 14 million in addition to what we get for all Afghanistan spending every year," Juknevičienė told BNS on Wednesday.

She said, however, that parliamentary committees which considered the draft budget of the Ministry of National Defense were told that the ministry in fact needed LTL 50 million more than the government proposed.

Based on the outgoing government's draft state budget for 2013, allocations for the Ministry of National Defense should increase to LTL 923.9 million, compared to LTL 870.2 million, or 0.79 percent of GDP, in 2012.

"We have named the minimal sum we need without which it would be difficult to implement the withdrawal and the establishment of the Energy Security Center when we still need 50 million," the minister said.

Calculations by the ministry show additional funds are also needed for the NATO air policing mission, Lithuania's participation in the EU anti-piracy operation ATALANTA as well as for international training events Steadfast Jazz, Baltic Host, and Saber Strike.

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