Defence ministry to establish cybersecurity command, defence budget to reach $93 mln

Georgian defence minister Juansher Burchuladze said that works to establish infrastructure for the new cybersecurity branch would commence next year. Photo: defence ministry press office, 26 Oct 2022 - 13:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian defence minister Juansher Burchuladze on Tuesday said his body was working to establish a cybersecurity command with the help of the United Kingdom and other allies, and announced the increase of the defence budget to ₾260 million ($93 mln) next year. 

Speaking to the Georgian public broadcaster, Burchuladze said works to establish infrastructure for the new branch would commence in 2023 and use both the ₾5 million ($1.8 mln) assigned for the purpose from the budget and additional funds via grants. 

The increase of the defence budget will allow the body to “launch new projects and take further steps to promote armed forces” among younger generations, he noted, adding the ministry was working on a new model for reserve forces - following instructions by prime minister Irakli Garibashvili - to make military service “more attractive” to the country’s citizens.

The Georgian defence minister said that the government was taking steps to promote armed forces in the younger generation. Photo: defence ministry press office.

We have made great efforts to modernise the reserve and conscript system in the [new] defence code. We have used the experience of the Baltic states, as well as Finland and Switzerland, in the process. I hope we will submit the document, which will work as a guideline for the next 10-20 years, to the legislative body soon", the minister said. 

Responding to claims by a part of the domestic opposition over “poor conditions” in the armed forces, the minister said “this may be hard to imagine, but certain forces are against promotion and strength of our armed forces”. He reiterated authorities had ensured “better-than-ever” conditions in the armed forces. 

The Georgian prime minister on Friday discussed the country’s new defence code with officials, with the document involving a modernising of the conscript and reserve systems and further steps to ensure better social conditions for servicemembers.

The government administration quoted officials as saying the code, scheduled to be submitted to parliament for approval by the end of this year, would also establish a new approach in the ministry’s management system, paving a way to a “completely new, flexible system” for military conscription.