DefMin Ciuca: We have guarantees that next year Defence will receive 2 per cent of GDP

Minister of National Defence Nicolae Ciuca stated on Tuesday that, during the preliminary talks he had with the Government, he received "all guarantees" that the Ministry of National Defence will continue to receive a budget representing 2 per cent of GDP. "During the talks that we had with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance we received all guarantees that next year we will have 2 per cent of the GDP earmarked for Defence. No later than last week, together with the Minister of Economy, we looked into every Romanian Army endowment plan, to make a similar plan in the medium and long run for the Romanian defence, considering our needs in the defence industry," said Ciuca. He participated, alongside the US Ambassador to Romania, Hans Klemm, in a visit to Deveselu meant to inform the Ambassadors from NATO states accredited to Bucharest about what happens there. "At the end of last week the last tranche of the money was unblocked and we are going to use this money to pay in advance for the Patriot systems. We do this because the money earmarked for corvettes and coastal battery has not been spent yet and we thought that we can use it this way, so that we can release the pressure on next year's budget a little bit, depending on how the pending court trials related to the corvettes end and on the resumption of the process for the coast missiles," said the Minister. He also specified he discussed with the Defence Staff Chief about the endowment priorities. "I asked him to review the Defence Staff endowment priorities, depending on which we will decide what we should do, for the 2020 budget is now being restructured. There are no significant changes, but we should still prioritize," Ciuca pointed out. AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Cristina Zaharia, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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