“Russian government is considering a 5 percent cut in defence procurement”

The Russian government is considering a 5 percent cut in defence procurement spending this year, sources say, showing not even Vladimir Putin’s plan to restore Moscow’s military might is immune to the pain of a slowing economy. The president has made beefing up the military a national priority, and the fact it is up for discussion is a sign that no area is safe from budget cuts as Russia begins a second year of recession following a fall in oil prices and Western sanctions. The proposal is backed by the finance ministry and has the support of several other ministries and state institutions, enough for it to be put forward for discussion at a cabinet meeting, four official sources said. A 5 percent cut in defense procurement spending would save the government no more than 100 billion roubles ($1.29 billion), according to an estimate by one official who spoke to Reuters.

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