Defense Minister Davit Tevzadze requested 71 million GEL from the state budget to keep the Georgian armed forces running in 2002. The Finance Minister agrees on 36 million GEL, which is enough for personnel expenses only. No quality upgrades, capital expenses and emergency funds will be covered. The Dilis Gazeti publishes the annual defense budgets of Armenia and Azerbaijan – 65 million USD to Armenian defense department, and 195 USD to that of Azerbaijan.
“It seems that our financial decision-makers do not care whether Georgian troops will be efficient or not. If something happens in the future it is interesting who would defend the country?” the Akhali Taoba wonders.
The Defense and Security Committee of the Parliament seconds the Defense Ministry. “When the country is effectively in a state of war the Finance Ministry does not care about the Defense Ministry’s requests concerning the increase of budget”, Gia Baramidze, the Head of the Committee, announced.
Georgian press and the Defence Ministry of Georgia agree that the lack of funding threatens the very existence of the Georgian armed forces. “While, according to Mr. Tevzadze, 71 million GEL is enough for the army to be at least minimally efficient, it is easy to imagine how efficient it would be when receiving 36 million GEL only” (the Akhali Taoba).