The Baltic Region

2018 Vol. 10 №1

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East Baltics: Economic Dilemmas of Security



This article considers military security in the Eastern Baltic. The research focuses on the economic sustainability of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the context of military spending. The authors maintain that an increase in military spending can either strengthen or weaken national economic and technological potential. In Germany or Sweden, military spending accounts for a smaller proportion of the GDP or budget revenues, but it is integrated into the general model of innovative and technological development. In the case of the Baltics, it is advisable to estimate military spending as a proportion of budget revenues rather than that of GDP — this recommendation applies to all smaller states. The authors stress that the central component of any national military and economic development is a focus on general national objectives rather than solely military ones. Economically advanced countries integrate defence spending into their investment and innovation strategies and industrial policies. Smaller countries — and the Baltics are no exception — do not apply this principle. Their military spending does not contribute to the technological and economic agenda. The article shows that the military spending of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia undermines their investment potential and serves as a critical factor in their national and governmental development. The authors suggest estimating military spending as a proportion of budget revenues rather than that of GDP.