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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's Defense Ministry to spend $790 mln on exercises in 2010

RIA Novosti

18:43 17/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry plans to spend around 24 billion rubles ($790 million) on drills and exercises involving all braches of service, the chief of the General Staff said on Thursday.

Gen. Nikolai Makarov said plans would include full-scale army exercises, long-range naval deployments, strategic bomber flights and patrols (about 20 billion rubles) and tactical-level exercises (4 billion).

He told a State Duma Defense Committee meeting the Russian Armed Forces would, in particular, conduct a large-scale Vostok exercise in Siberia and the country's Far East in late June-early July 2010.

The Defense Ministry earlier said the Vostok exercise would aim to improve combat readiness and interoperability of the various branches of service, involving units of the Ground Forces, the Air Force, the Airborne Troops and the Pacific Fleet.

Russia holds Vostok strategic command-and-staff exercises every two years. More than 8,000 troops took part in Vostok-2008.

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