Russia to Cut Military Spending by 5% in 2016

Finance Ministry Pushed for Cuts Because of Falling Oil Prices

As the Pentagon pushes the prospect of a war with Russia as an excuse for increasing the already massive US military budget, Russia’s own defense ministry today revealed that their budget for the next fiscal year will actually decrease significantly.

Deputy DM Tatiana Shevtsova announced that the nation’s 2016 defense budget is expected to be roughly 5% smaller than its 2015 budget. This would represent a cut of about $2.3 billion off of Russia’s existing $46 billion budget. The US, by contrast, spent $581 billion in 2015, and is projected to spend more in 2016.

The cuts represent the biggest one-year cut in Russian military spending since Vladimir Putin took office in 2000, and are the result of a major push by the finance ministry, which insisted that the falling price of oil meant they simply couldn’t afford to keep spending more every year.

It is unclear where the cuts will happen within the Russian military budget, and if they will effect ongoing operations, or simply cut back on purchases of new equipment. Russia’s overseas operations represent a very minimal portion of their overall budget, and likely aren’t on the chopping block.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.