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22 Aug, 2008 06:23

Georgia is boosting military offensive potential – Russia

Russia is very concerned about the recent growth of Georgia’s military potential, according to the Deputy Chief of Russia's General Staff, Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn.

According to Nogovitsyn, in 2002 it had a defence budget of $US 18 million and by 2008 it has soared 50-fold to $US 900 million.

According to some estimates, Tbilisi is spending 8.5 per cent of the country’s GDP on its military.

In the period from 2006 to 2007, the number of Georgia’s military personnel doubled.

“Since 2005, the number of Georgia’s tanks has increased from 98 to 183, armoured vehicles from 83 to 134, artillery weapons from 96 to 238, combat helicopters from three to nine and warplanes from seven to nine,” Nogovitsyn said.