Armenia Plans to Bolster Military Next Year

During the Sept. 21 military parade in Yerevan

YEREVAN (RFE?RL)—The Armenian military has revealed plans to recruit new professional soldiers and acquire more weapons next year as part of a 5.6 percent increase in defense spending envisaged by the draft state budget for 2012.

Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said late on Tuesday that Armenia’s military expenditures will total 150 million drams ($400 million) if the budget is approved by parliament.

Ohanian told journalists that the additional expenditures proposed by the government would primarily finance recruitment of more military personnel and resulting “structural changes” in the country’s armed forces. Speaking after the first parliamentary hearings on the budget, he gave no details of the planned expansion.

The Armenian Defense Ministry is apparently keen to increase the number of soldiers serving in the largely conscription-based army on a contractual basis. That number has already grown significantly over the past decade.

News agencies also quoted Ohanian as saying that the extra funding sought by the government and the military would also be spent on fresh arms purchases as well as “the maintenance and exploitation of recently acquired systems and devices.” He did not elaborate.

Armenia’s officially declared military spending will thus continue to pale in comparison with arch-foe Azerbaijan’s defense and security budget which is projected to reach $3.3 billion this year, up from $2.15 billion in 2010.

Armenia has been trying to offset this spending gap through close military ties with Russia that entitle it to receiving Russian weapons at discount prices or even for free. A new Russian-Armenian defense agreement signed in August 2010 commits Moscow to helping Yerevan obtain “modern and compatible weaponry and (special) military hardware.”

The Armenian military demonstrated some of its new weaponry, including S-300 air-defense systems, during a high-profile parade staged in September. Ohanian insisted after the parade that Yerevan is maintaining “the balance of forces” with Baku despite the latter’s massive military buildup fuelled by oil revenues.

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11 Comments

  1. John MInassian said:

    The Armenian church should sell the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem to the Israelis. In return , they could get the Merkava tank which will give Armenia a true advantage over the T-72 that the Azeris have. Armenia needs a heavy armoured personal carrier like the Namer which the Azeris are buying from Israel. It is time to end this silly nostalgia and pride for the Armenian quarter because it has gotten the Armenians zero. We have suffered through genocide and masscres and what has this silly Armenian quarter gotten us. Enough with this stupid nostalgia and pride.The survival of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh is at stake.

  2. john minassian said:

    Russian missles and artillery are excellent but their tanks are poor in quality and Armenia needs to buy tanks from other countries who produce tanks with ceramic/composite armour Ceramic armour can witthstand missile attacks and armour-piercing anti-tank rounds (APDS) .when compared to steel armour only.

  3. john minassian said:

    The most important Azeri target in the NKR is the Mardakert region because it has oil deposits. NKR forces need to put in thick anti-tank mine fields at the line of contact in the Mardakert region. It is important to note that the 2 major skirmishes in 2008 and 2009 occured in the Mardakert region because the Azeris want to test Armenian defenses and their primary goal is to take Mardakert for it’s oil. Member of the Armenian National Assembly Larisa Alaverdyan stated that the Maragha massacre (which is a town in Mardakert region ) occured because the Azeris wanted to kill off the Armenians to get their hands on . Oil towers were located few kiliometers from the village of Maragha ( http://aisor.am/en/news/2010/10/21/maragha/?sw){http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/politics/news/66841/)

    • alex said:

      john,we lost enough of land now its time to regain wee will not give anything to anyone,not even to israel.the markava that ur talking about is a half a milllion dollar tank,its over rated tank t 72 is much cheaper and faster.in 2006 war israel againt lebanon israel lost more then 6 markava tank in just 1 week and guess how,by Russian made portable missal,israel was depending on his tanks to advance and crush the lebaness millitians,azeri air force ia 10 times stronger then ours rite,but whats use of all that billion dollar aircraft if ur enemy has an S 300 anti aircraft missals,where u want even have a chance to fly them 30km air space distance close to ur enemy boarders.i hope u got my point

  4. Berge Jololian said:

    Here is a 3 minutes video that so nicely displays Armenia’s military capability:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NNKxHfQl-w

    A pentagon official recently reported as revealed on Wikileaks, “the Armenian military has a clear record of superiority in operational theater art of war”.

  5. Raffikian said:

    During Gharapagh war, had Armenian’s taken over some of Azery Oil ang Gas wells, we would have more money to spend and the Azerys less, maybe we should have that in mind for the next round.

    • Elchin said:

      In next round more Armenians will be welcomed in 5 star resorts in Der E Zor.

      • Arto said:

        But in the FINAL ROUND, ALL turks and azeri’s will be going into the innermost circle of hell, to sit on the right hand side of satan himself, the IDEAL PERSONIFICATION of BOTH your nations! ::Spits in Elchin’s face!!”

  6. Levon said:

    At the time of this writing, $1 buys 384 AMD. Therefore, Armenia’s military expenditure of 150 million drams would equal roughly $400K not $400M as stated in this article. I’m assuming the dollar figures are correct and the dram figures are off by two 0’s and should be 15,000 million drams or 15 Billion Drams instead of the 150 million stated in this article.

  7. The Truth said:

    the challenge of Armenia diplomacy should be by risking an new war to keep what we were ‎able to free from Turkish rule – we had our war, therefore this is Azerbaijani who needs a ‎new war and not NKR or Armenia! Still NKR should be able to bring the war close to Baku , ‎to Caspian oil fields and to far south to Lenkoran in case of new aggression – bombing of ‎Stepeankert should be fallow attacks on Baku and oil fields ! ‎

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