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MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Ways of cutting budget spending, including military spending, are still being explored, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told the media.
"Various ways of cutting spending are being considered. A plan [for supporting the economy] is being finalized," Peskov said, adding that it was too early to consider the question of defense spending cuts.
"I cannot say anything definite on that score now," he said.
In January, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that Russia was open to all budget spending options, including military sector spending cuts.
Russia’s former finance minister, Alexey Kudrin, too, believes that "defense spending reductions were unavoidable." "Many say this will be hard to achieve in the current geo-political situation… It may be postponed for two or three years. I see no problems here. But I don’t believe that defense spending is an untouchable ‘sacred cow’," Kudrin said in an interview on the radio in January.
At the end of 2015 there were plans 2016 spending on national defense would be set at 3.145 trillion rubles ($49.5 billion), 25.5 billion rubles ($400 million) more than in 2015. This year’s national defense spending stands at 4% of the GDP.