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RF government discontent with defence budget use

April 16, 2013, 10:28 UTC+3

Russia’s giant defence budget is spent not always effectively

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Russia’s giant defence budget is spent not always effectively. On Monday, Prime Dmitry Medvedev and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who discussed the process of financing the state defence order, pointed to this. On Monday, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said that Russia is one of the few countries in the world that even in times of crisis is rapidly increasing military spending.

Dmitry Medvedev said that the level of concluded contracts under the state defence order in the amount of two-thirds of “this is not something to be regarded as a good result,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper writes. According to him, “This means that there are errors in the planning and conduct of the contract campaign.” He demanded that the departments “move” and enterprises offer favourable conditions.

According to RF new Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, up to 60 percent of the orders for equipment are placed with violations, resulting in delays with delivery. “For example, of 10 billion roubles invested in R & D on the communications equipment range, the results of spending 8.4 billion roubles have remained on the shelf. That is, we have received equipment for only 18 kopecks per every invested rouble,” said the minister. So, in terms of value, this part of the defence order is 18 percent fulfilled.

Experts told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper in an interview that there are several reasons for Russia’s huge defence costs. Among them – the long border with other countries, outdated arsenal and urgent need of modernisation. “The longer a country’s border, the more troubled neighbours it has – the larger defence spending,” Director General of the Razvitiye Group Viktor Kukharsky said.

Disregarding America and China, then Russia is in the first place according to all these criteria. Moreover, in contrast to Canada, Australia or Japan, Russia does not have the “big brother” that would take care of its security, the expert added.

“We have a very large territory that should be protected. The defence unit costs will always be high. A moment is coming when we with our population will simply physically be unable to fully ensure the country’s security and its territorial integrity. And if we do not bear the needed defence expenses, then already “tomorrow” the national border security cannot be guaranteed,” head of the FinExpertiza audit and consulting group Agvan Mikaelyan believes.

Meanwhile, according to the newspaper, Russia is third in the world in terms of absolute defence spending after the United States and China. According to SIPRI data released on Monday, Russia’s military spending in 2012 increased by 16 percent and exceeded 90 billion US dollars.

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