MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry does not plan to reduce the numerical strength of the Russian Armed Forces or expenditures on servicemen’s pay, despite budget cuts, Deputy Defense Minister Tatiana Shevtsova said on Thursday.
"The Defense Ministry of Russia does not plan to make a decision on reducing the personnel of the Armed Forces or the size of pays," Shevtsova said at a meeting with the heads of financial bodies in Rostov-on-Don.
Russia’s Defense Ministry will not cut expenditures on socially important budget items, she said.
"These are the expenditures on personnel that include servicemen’s money allowance, pays to civilian personnel and compensation payments and pensions," the Defense Ministry official added.
Russia’s Defense Ministry will be able to avoid cuts in spending on personnel through optimizing expenditures on the army maintenance and equipment, she said. In particular, this will be done through the implementation of the Effective Army program, she added.
The deputy defense minister said in late March that the Defense Ministry would not reduce allowance and pays, cancel or cut some types of payments. She said that servicemen’s money allowance had not been indexed since 2012 but had grown constantly through incentive pays. Last year, the servicemen’s monthly pay averaged 62,000 rubles ($1,190 at the current exchange rate).