July 17, 2017 - 16:22 AMT
Armenia to expand defense spending by $54 mln each year

Under Armenia's 2017 budget, the defense spending, including the capital spending, amounts to AMD 226 billion, finance minister Vardan Aramyan told reporters on Monday, July 17, adding that military expenditures will grow by some AMD 26-27 billion (apx. $54 million) each year.

The minister weighed in on the issue of whether the growth of appropriations is connected with the April war of 2016 and, if so, to what extent.

Azerbaijan on April 2, 2016 launched a large-scale military offensive against Nagorno Karabakh which left hundreds dead on both sides. Top Armenian and Azerbaijani defense officials reached an agreement on the cessation of hostilities on April 5 in Moscow.

“Regardless of the April war, we have been facing some risks since the ceasefire in 1994. Therefore we have always prioritized defense expenditures to maintain military balance,” Aramyan said.

Also Monday, Aramyan said Armenia is considering getting a new military loan from Russia.