Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian told journalists in Yerevan on 18 November that the 10 percent increase in defense spending projected in the 2005 draft budget is inadequate, Noyan Tapan and RFE/RL's Armenian Service reported.
The budget allocates 54 billion drams ($108 million) for the armed forces in 2005 compared to 50 billion drams in 2004. Sarkisian said the additional funding -- he did not specify how much -- is needed to increase the salaries of army officers and lower level commanders. He expressed confidence it will be forthcoming.
Armenian Defense Minister Demands Further Increase in Military Funding