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Georgian Defense Budget cut

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 15
Since the August 2008 war Georgia’s defense ministry budget has been decreasing. According to the draft budget for 2011 defense will receive GEL 660 mln. This year the defence budget was GEL 444 mln, in 2009 it was GEL 868 mln. Defense spending increased between 2004 and 2008 reaching a budget of almost USD 1 bln making up 10% of Georgia’s total budget (proportion of total budget is generally accepted as one of the best indicators).

Independent Georgian analysts and representatives are continually demanding transparency in this field in particular regarding the purchase of military technologies and hardware, as well as the general efficiency of expenditure. So far however no government body has been able to control the defense ministry’s spending although many suspect that there have been serious irregularities in the area. It is therefore interesting to recall the former Defense minister, now opposition member in exile Irakli Okruashvili who was arrested. Although later released, he fled to France and is now wanted in Georgia for various financial misconducts during his period in office as defense minister.