Armenia's defense spending in 2022 will increase by 11% year-on-year to reach AMD 345 billion (around $720 million), Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Monday, October 25. Introducing the state budget for 2022 to lawmakers in the National Assembly, Pashinyan said "Armenia does not intend to conquer territories", maintaining that he is building up the army to protect the country against aggression. The PM said Armenia will be establishing a professional army, as well as strengthening the border guard service. He noted that the plans will be implemented step by step, also increasing the attractiveness of military service. Pashinyan also stressed the importance of the withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the territory of Armenia, which he said, alongside the demarcation and delimitation of the border, will allow the protection of the borders to be mostly reserved for the border troops. Azerbaijani forces violated Armenia’s border in several sections in the provinces of Syunik and Gegharkunik on May 12 and 13 and are still refusing to withdraw their troops from the area. Since then, almost a dozen Armenian servicemen have been killed in Azerbaijan’s shooting, a dozen others have been wounded.