13 Nov 2018 18:28

Armenia increases defense spending, to buy air defense systems

YEREVAN. Nov 13 (Interfax) - Armenia's defense spending, according to the draft 2019 budget, has increased by 65 billion drams ($1 - 485 drams), Koryun Nahapetyan, chairman of the parliamentary defense and security commission, said.

"Defense spending has increased by 65 billion drams. In 2019 the Armenian Defense Ministry will be allocated 30 billion drams more than in 2018," Nahapetyan said during a discussion of the draft budget in parliament on Tuesday.

Defense spending accounts for 20% of the budget and 4% of the GDP, he said.

"In case of a resumption of hostilities [in the Karabakh conflict zone] we must be ready for budget re-allocation. And we must be ready for war. The aim of the spending increase is to acquire rocket-artillery weapons, means of air defense. Under the lending agreement signed with Russia, our missile capabilities will increase," Nahapetyan said.

The draft 2019 budget sets revenues at 1.462 trillion drams, spending at 1.614 trillion drams and deficit at 151.6 billion drams.