Georgia's military budget should be over 2% of GDP, it will bring republic closer to NATO standards
The Georgian Defense Ministry is working on ensuring that its budget exceeds two percent of the country's GDP, Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria.
Speaking at the meeting of Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which is held in Tbilisi on Saturday, he spoke about the main demand of NATO, which is that the member countries should have defense budgets of two percent of the GDP.
"We grant this demand, although I would like to say that for us [Georgia] this percent indicator should be even higher, bearing in mind that we inherited old Soviet equipment, which needs re-armament even more," Izoria said.
On the background of the near-term and long-term challenges, "work is being done to ensure that the budget provided to the Defense Ministry exceeds two percent," he said.
Speaking about the financing of the agency, the minister said that it is a priority of NATO that 20% of the total defense budget should be used for re-equipment of the Armed Forces. "In this regard, we have taken specific steps. Previously, it was envisaged to allocate only two percent for that, and this year's budget envisages six percent. However, our strategic goal, and it is documented, is to come closer to the NATO standards within three years," Izoria said.
The creation of an anti-tank and air defense systems, modernization of aviation, equipment of artillery in accordance with the modern NATO standards and, naturally, reinforcement of reconnaissance capabilities will be a priority, he said.
"In this context, a special role on the priority strategic track is played by the existing NATO-Georgia package, which was adopted at the NATO summit in Wales and which envisages activities on 15 tracks," the minister said.
Georgia's Defense Ministry budget in 2017 reached 748 million lari (some $310 million), which is an 11.6% increase from 2016.