The Ministry of Defence of Georgia has responded to rumours that the purchase of a French air defence system has been partially delayed because of the budget of the ministry which has been decreased by 75 million GEL, Defence.az reports citing Georgian media.
Local media reported that because of the adjusted budget, the ministry will not have the resources to carry through the agreement.
The Ministry of Defence says that this is misinformation and aims at misleading the public.
The project agreement that was signed with France in 2018 is being implemented. We would like to make it clear to the public that it is defamatory speculation as if we are not fulfilling the agreement signed in 2015. That agreement ended in 2018 and the French aid defence systems are already purchased and are in operation. As for the new contract signed in 2018, it includes several phases of implementation. The programme is not delayed by the Ministry of Defence", reads the statement of the ministry.
The statement reads that since the project is financed by a loan from a French private bank, even if there are no financial resources from the budget at this stage, it will be possible to finance the project, even if there is no money in the allocations of the budget.
"Since the completion of the phase is still going smoothly, the submitted works will be financed with the remaining 5 million GEL in the allocations of the budget and the rest of the amount will be transferred through direct payment by the French bank", reads the statement.