Russia cuts defense spending
Next year’s reduction in defense spending will not affect the programs for re-equipping the armed forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the leader of the United Russia party’s faction in the State Duma, Vladimir Vasiliev, while discussing the forthcoming work to draft the country’s budget.
"A law on the budget is to be drafted during the autumn session of parliament," Putin said, noting that there was a "challenging task ahead."
"Considerable budget cuts are to be made next year at the expense of defense spending articles," the President recalled.
"This is not related with a reduction of our plans for re-equipping the Army and the Navy," he noted. "We will push ahead with the defense order and draft a new program, but we have plans for some reductions in contrast to what was in the past. Close attention should be paid to the issues that always arise in the process of drafting the country’s main financial document," the President stressed.
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that outside the rearmament programs of the army and navy, there is a very wide range of budget defense spending items that can be reduced.
"In this regard, it is difficult to predict more specifically. It is possible that the costs on the armed forces systems will be lowered, perhaps, although less likely, the number of military exercises will be cut. Training programs for servicemen of other armies can be also reduced," he suggested.
President of the International Association of Veterans of the Alpha Anti-Terrorism Unit, Sergey Goncharov, expects that it is likely that the whole system of defense financing will be reviewed in the near future, because of the growing threat of military clashes in the world. "Considering the current global situation, perhaps we will reconsider our positions on defense - at the moment I do not exclude the threat of a military clash that will affect Russia," he said.
"It is possible to reduce the number of military units that are no longer needed by our army. But I do not think that we will reduce the military resources of the strategic aspects of our defense and attack forces," Sergei Goncharov assured.