Russia to Spend 2.8% GDP on Defense As 'Conflict Risk Rises'
15:01 20/03/2012 MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will spend at least 2.8 percent of GDP on defense over the next eight years, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday, amid a rising risk that Russia will be drawn into a conflict.
“The security of our citizens, our country, the security of our allies, needs a guarantee of defense, and our military strength, and a capability to quickly react to threats so that no-one in the world has any doubts about testing our will to stand firm,” Medvedev said.
The development of Russia’s military organizations is a state priority, and financing for it will be given special attention, he said.
“Until 2020, we will spend no less than 2.8 percent of GDP on defense,” Medvedev said.
Tensions in the military-political sphere are increasing the risk of Russia being drawn into armed conflict, Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Tuesday at a Defense Ministry meeting.
“In the last decade, the spectrum of military threats to Russia has widened,” he said.
”New centers of force have appeared, with pretensions to regional leadership, and source of military-political tension for Russia. Deployment of elements of global missile defense systems have infringed the increasingly complex balance and strategic stability. The tendency for escalation of tension on the perimeters of our territory increase the risk of drawing Russia into military conflicts,” he added.
Medvedev also warned of severe penalties for failure to meet government arms delivery contracts.
“Arms procurements should be maximally expedited. Those who don’t understand how that can be done - I mean both the Defense Ministry and the contractors - should be called to account or fired,” he said.
“Huge sums [are involved],” Medvedev said, “and they should be spent on buying good quality weapons.”
In 2011, wrangling over prices between the Defense Ministry and defense firms jeopardized the state defense order.
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