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 Russia's government mulls five percent cut in defense procurement spending: sources, - Reuters

Russia's government is considering cutting spending on defense procurement this year by 5 percent, a move that would extend the budget squeeze to a sector that up to now has been immune from real cuts.

Four official sources told Reuters, Censor.NET informs.

The proposal has support across several ministries and in other state institutions, enough for it to go forward for discussion at a cabinet meeting, the sources said. Until now, the idea has not gained traction beyond the finance ministry.

That it is now about to be put on the agenda of the full government is a sign that, as Russia begins its second year of recession caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions, no area is safe from budget cuts.

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Cutting defense spending is symbolically important because President Vladimir Putin has made restoring Russia's military might a priority, a stance reinforced by military engagements in Ukraine and in Syria.

Russia spent 1.65 trillion roubles ($21.60 billion) on defense procurement in 2015, according to defense think tank CAST. That represented about half of total budget spending on national defense, it said.

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A 5 percent cut in defense procurement spending is unlikely to bring in significant additional budget revenues. The saving would be not more than 100 billion roubles, according to an estimate from one of the officials who spoke to Reuters.

"But this is not about money, it is about a political precedent," the official said.
Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n375222