On June 26, a post was published on the Facebook page of the Civil Contract Party, which compared the costs of arms procurement in the ten years of office of the third President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan (2008-2018) to that made in the first two years of the office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan (2018-2020).
Accordingly, in just two years of Pashinyan’s tenure, AMD 609 billion worth of armaments were acquired, which is almost twice as much as the funds allocated for the procurement of armaments in the ten years of Sargsyan’s tenure, only AMD 354 billion.
Artak Zakaryan, former Deputy Minister of Defense, and a member of the Republican Party of Armenia, responded to that post of the ruling party.
“Therefore, in 2008-2018, to meet the military needs of the Armed Forces of Armenia (including weapons, ammunition), not AMD 345 billion were allocated, as the official “capitulation“ sources lie, but AMD 1 trillion 768.3 billion (about 3 billion 684 million USD). This data is open, and it can be found in official sources on the Internet,” Zakaryan concluded.
This statement by Zakaryan is manipulative. He compared the data on the expenditure for armaments published by the Civil Contract Party with the data on military defense expenditure. The point is that they are not comparable data.
Thus, the expenditures allocated to armaments assume procurement of weapons, military equipment and other related procurement measures. Meanwhile, military defense is a broader set of measures provided by the state budget, which, among other measures aimed at the defense of the country, also includes the costs of acquiring weapons.
Therefore, Artak Zakaryan manipulates information by comparing the expenses allocated for the military needs of the Republic of Armenia in 2008-2018 with the expenses for the arms procurement after 2018.
Did the cost of acquiring weapons exceed the state budget proportion?
The former Deputy Minister of Defense also claimed that the costs of acquiring weapons cited by the Civil Contract Party did not exceed the proportion of the RA state budget.
“…because the budget has increased year by year, therefore the allocations for meeting military needs have also increased,” he said.
The Fact Investigation Platform also checked the validity of this claim.
Thus, the expenditure part of Armenia’s 2018 budget adopted during Serzh Sargsyan’s tenure amounted to AMD 1 trillion 465 billion, of which AMD 238.2 billion were allocated to military expenses, which made up 16% of the budget.
In the 2019 budget adopted by Nikol Pashinyan’s government, the military expenses amounted to AMD 300 billion, which was 18.2% of the budget of that year (AMD 1 trillion 648 billion).
In 2020, the proportion of military expenditures in relation to the budget was 16.3%.
Thus, Zakaryan’s statement is mostly correct in this matter. Although in 2019, compared to 2018, the proportion of military expenditures in the budget increased by 2.2%, the proportion of military expenditures again remained within 16 percent in 2020, compared to 2019.