Russia’s budget, under which the nation will spend more on its military than social policies next year, is oriented toward one main goal — victory in the war on Ukraine, according to the country’s finance minister.
(Bloomberg) — Russia’s budget, under which the nation will spend more on its military than social policies next year, is oriented toward one main goal — victory in the war on Ukraine, according to the country’s finance minister.
“Yes, it’s a large amount in the budget expenditures, but we need this money to achieve the most important task today — the task of ensuring victory,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Tuesday at a budget hearing before the upper house of Russia’s parliament.
Read more: Russia’s Industry Surges as Putin Seeks to Feed War Machine
Under the plan, defense spending will comprise 6% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2024, up from 3.9% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2021, before the Kremlin’s invasion of its neighbor. Expenditure on classified or unspecified items is forecast to nearly double, as the war continues to reshape Russia’s finances and economy.
The budget provides first and foremost for the needs of the army to conduct the war and for the defense industry, Siluanov said. “The second priority is technological and infrastructure development. The third is fulfilling obligations to the state and its citizens,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed to continue through the fall and winter the counteroffensive his country is waging to try to reclaim occupied territory, and his forces were bolstered by the arrival of US battle tanks last month.
Read more: Ukraine Advances on Russian Defenses as US Battle Tanks Arrive
Russia’s draft budget assumes war conditions will continue for the next three years, and includes stable funding for drones and the development of industries that have suffered under sanctions or from the sudden disappearance of inputs sourced from abroad. Its war-related industries have already seen a boom, with sectors producing military goods expected to increase output by almost a third in 2023, according to government forecasts.
“The volume of resources was determined jointly with the security agencies and takes into account the need to achieve the objectives and goals the president set for the special military operation,” Siluanov said referring to Russia’s invasion.
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