Prague - The Czech coalition government parties today signed an agreement under which the military budget will be gradually increased up to 1.4 percent of GDP by 2020, the Government Office press department has told CTK.
The signing was preceded by six-month negotiations.
At present, the military receives about 1 percent of GDP, while the Czech Republic pledged to maintain the level of its military budget at 2 percent when it joined NATO in 1999.
The military long complained that the current state of affairs does not enable it to ensure all the duties it has to fulfil.
The pact was signed by leaders of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), members of the coalition government formed in January.
"The document formulates long-term political ideas and obligations that are to help create the right conditions to maintain and subsequently develop the Czech Republic's security capabilities," the press department said.
At first, the coalition leaders tried to conclude an agreement that would be backed both by the coalition and the opposition.
However, the effort has failed, KDU-CSL deputy Ivan Gabal said.
The reason is that the coalition failed to agree on the year by which the military budget should reach 2 percent of GDP, he added.
The signing of the agreement is to shore up the position of the Czech delegation before the September 4-5 NATO summit in Wales.
As other European countries, the Czech Republic has come under criticism for its low defence spending.