BRUSSELS, Feb 13 (LETA) - The NATO member states have made substantial progress in increasing their defense spending but still have a long way to go, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday.He said that it was important not only to increase defense spending but also to make sure that the money is used efficiently. The NATO members have made substantial progress in increasing their defense budgets. "In 2014, only three Allies spent 2 percent of GDP or more on defense.This year, we expect eight Allies to meet the target.And by 2024, we expect at least 15 Allies will spend 2 percent of GDP or more on defense," the NATO secretary general said."This is substantial progress, and a good start. But we still have a long way to go," he said.NATO Defense Ministers will be meeting in Brussels on February 14-15 to take decisions to prepare for the Summit of NATO leaders in July. The ministers will address a range of issues, including NATO’s Command Structure, fair burden-sharing, cooperation with the EU, and the Alliance’s role in projecting stability and fighting terrorism.Latvia has approved its defense budget for 2018 at 2 percent of GDP and has undertaken to keep its defense spending on this level also in the coming years.
Published: 13.02.2018 16:49