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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to Keep Arms Procurement Budget Intact

RIA Novosti

18:35 08/08/2012 MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian military has no plans to cut the financing of an ambitious arms procurement program until 2020, First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Sukhorukov said on Wednesday.

The government has allocated 20 trillion rubles ($641 billion) on the comprehensive rearmament of Russia's Armed Forces which will see the share of modern weaponry reach 30% by 2015, and total 70% by 2020.

“We do not have any plans to decrease the program’s budget,” Sukhorukov told reporters in Moscow. “We will simply change the financing scheme.”

The new scheme envisions state guarantees to banks that issue loans to defense industry companies involved in the arms procurement program, he added.

As of August 1, the Defense Ministry has signed contracts worth 95.3% of the program’s funding allocated for the current year while defense companies have been paid 82.4% of the total 2012 funding, Sukhorukov said.

The deputy minister also said the government had allocated 128 billion rubles (about $4 bln) in 2012 for the development of new military hardware.

“We have been allocating up to 20.5% of the state defense order for R&D work and we are hoping to maintain this trend,” he said adding that the R&D funding in 2013 is expected to increase to 173 billion rubles ($5.4 bln).

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