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October 19-20, NATO capability planning experts visited Lithuania and assessed its readiness to join mutual NATO’s tasks.

NATO capability planning experts evaluated positively reforms undertaken in Lithuania and participation in NATO-led operations; however, they expressed concern in the diminishing defence budget, only half the size of 2% DGP recommended by NATO. NATO experts highlighted that insufficient defence budget was the underlying obstacle to continue modernization programmes in the Armed Forces and implement other commitments to NATO.

Like all the members of the Alliance Lithuania takes part in the collective NATO planning process by developing capabilities vital for pursuing NATO’s tasks, collective defence among them.

The process serves as a basis for approval of NATO political guidelines and names the main points of NATO’s readiness. Afterwards long-term requirements of military capability development are established for all the NATO countries individually with regard to their share of common burden, financial resources, experience, equipment in possession, and size of national armed forces. NATO experts review readiness of the allies to complete NATO’s tasks and fulfill long-term development plans regularly on a biennial basis.

In 2009 NATO states agreed to revise the contemporary process of capability planning in order to integrate separate sectors of cooperation – weaponry, logistic, civilian emergency situations, etc. – that were also in the mandate of other state institutions and organisations along with defence ministries.