MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the Defense Ministry on Friday to complete the streamlining of defense spending in the near future.
“We must finalize the creation of an optimal structure for defense spending as soon as possible,” Putin said at a Kremlin meeting with newly-appointed and promoted high-ranking military officials.
“The maintenance of the Armed Forces should not take up more than 30 percent of the defense budget while the share of arms development and procurement should reach 70 percent,” Putin said.
“We have been talking about it for years and we are gradually moving toward this goal, but we must finally complete this task,” the president said.
Streamlining defense expenditure has been a key part of Russia’s comprehensive military reforms, as the government sharply increased the allocation of funds for defense-related R&D and arms procurement.
Russia plans to boost annual defense spending by 59 percent to almost 3 trillion rubles ($97 billion) in 2015, up from $61 billion in 2012.
Russia's ambitious 2011-2020 arms procurement program stipulates the upgrade of up to 11 percent of military equipment annually and will allow the country to increase the share of modern weaponry in the Armed Forces to 70 percent by 2020.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.