Russia boosts military spending

Russia boosts military spending

Russia became the world's third largest military spender in 2016, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report.

Russia's military spending was $69.2 billion in 2016, a 5.9% rise over 2015, the report said, adding this was the highest proportion of its GDP since it became an independent state.

"This increased spending and heavy burden on the economy comes at a time when the Russian economy is in serious trouble due to low oil and gas prices and the economic sanctions imposed since 2014," SIPRI said.

The US remained the top spender as its expenditure grew by 1.7% between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion while China boosted its expenditure by 5.4% to $215 billion, a lower rate than in previous years.

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