Shrinking Russian economy leads to defense spending cuts

Russia’s defense budget will be cut by 5 percent in 2016, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Tatiana Shevtsova said, according to the RIA news agency.

Defense spending has been growing as part of a drive by President Vladimir Putin to restore Russia’s military might. The decision to cut shows, however, that even the armed forces are not immune to a slowing Russian economy, which has been hit by falling oil prices and Western sanctions.

The 5 percent cut, if approved by Putin, would be the biggest reduction in defense spending since he took office in 2000.
The finance minister actually asked for a 10 percent reduction in military spending.  With Putin's aggression in Ukraine and his adventures in Syria, he is also spending money that could have been invested in upgrading the Russian military.  

The Russian economy shrunk by nearly four percent last year and is expected to shrink again this year with the price of oil so low and the effect of some Western sanctions.


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