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Ex-minister says Russia will cut defense budget in 2-3 years

January 13, 18:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Alexey Kudrin, "the reason is defense spending is not meant for participation in current local or geopolitical situations"
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© Evgeniy Kurskov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Russia’s budget will have to be inevitably reduced in two or three years’ time, if the economic situation remains as it is today, Russia’s former finance minister, Alexey Kudrin, told the Gaidar Economic Forum in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Defense spending reductions cannot be avoided. Many are saying that in the current geopolitical situation they will be hard to make… They may be postponed for two or three years. I do not see any problems in this respect. I don’t think that defense spending is a sacred cow untouchable in any circumstance," Kudrin told the Russian News Service radio station.

"The reason is defense spending is not meant for participation in current local or geopolitical situations. It is meant for strengthening Russia’s defenses along the perimeter borders, in all areas of potential combat operations," Kudrin explained.

Kudrin said that Russia’s operation in Syria was "not a very critical budget spending item."

"In the medium term Syria is not a super-heavy burden. There are far more military and political risks that leave a certain imprint on the investment climate and on the investors," he said.

Kudrin said that measures to incorporate Crimea and humanitarian support for the East of Ukraine have cost the Russian treasury far more than the operation in Syria.

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