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Russia plans to raise defense expenditure by 50% in 3 years

Russia is planning to increase its spending on defense by 50% in the next three years, a senior MP said Tuesday.
MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is planning to increase its spending on defense by 50% in the next three years, a senior MP said Tuesday.

Russia's defense budget is believed to be less than a tenth of the United States', but the country's military expenditure has been steadily growing in the past few years.

"According to a draft federal budget for 2009-2011, expenditure on national defense will increase in 2009 by 25.7% from 1.02 trillion rubles ($40 billion) to 1.28 trillion rubles ($51.3 billion) and would account for 14% of total budget spending," said Viktor Zavarzin, chairman of the Defense Committee in Russia's lower house of parliament.

He also said that by 2011 the total defense expenditures would increase by 45.6% compared with 2008.

A large portion of additional expenditures would go toward raising salaries and improving the living conditions of military personnel, he added.

Russia is soon to adopt a new military doctrine that aims to transform the Armed Forces into a mobile and effective military force. Their structures will be "optimized" through the use of combined arms units performing similar tasks.

President Dmitry Medvedev said last week that Russia would make the modernization of its nuclear deterrent and Armed Forces a priority in the decade up to 2020.

"We must ensure air superiority, precision strikes at land and sea targets, and timely deployment of troops," Medvedev said. "We are planning to launch large-scale production of warships, primarily, nuclear submarines with cruise missiles and multi-purpose attack submarines."

Russia's Defense Ministry earlier said it would spend around 1 trillion rubles ($40 billion) of federal budget funds in 2008, 20% more than in 2007, and that in 2008-10 military spending would account for 15.5-16% of total federal budget spending.

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