tina_khidasheliTbilisi, DFWatch – The number of troops is not important, what’s crucial is to have a professional army, as Georgia will never be able to win any war by the number of soldiers, Minister of Defense Tina Khidasheli said in a talk show 2030 at GDS pro-governmental TV channel Wednesday evening.

“Key to success for Georgia is not in the number of soldiers, but… having a small, but professional, flexible army compatible with the NATO standards,” Khidasheli said.

“We know very well whom we deal with, how large that country is, we also know how great army that country has. Even if every woman and man grabs a weapon in Georgia we will still be less than that army,” minister remarked clearly referring to Russia.

She played down criticism according to which voluntary military service (professional army) is too expensive and the country couldn’t afford it. She said the only difference between two, contract and compulsory, systems is a salary of a soldier, while the rest costs are the same.

Khidasheli has actively lobbied abolishing compulsory service. Few weeks ago she said that the compulsory service may end from 2017.

But it depends on the will of the new government formed after parliamentary election in October.

At GDS she said that if she would have an opportunity she’d continue being on the same post with great pleasure.

“This is the most important service, where I have ever served,” Khidasheli said.