Russian budget expenditure in 2023 to total $351 billion – finance minister

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s federal budget expenditure in 2023 will total 32.2 trillion roubles ($351.45 billion), Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters on Wednesday.

The figure is almost 11% – or 3.1 trillion roubles – higher than the initially approved total expenditure for this year of 29.06 trillion roubles.

The increase may reflect a sharper rise than previously estimated in military spending as Russia continues to wage what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine.

In September, Russia’s finance ministry estimated the total amount of expenditure in 2023 at 30.27 trillion roubles, with spending under the “national defence” section at 6.41 trillion roubles, or 21.2% of the total amount, according to documents outlining the government’s fiscal plans for 2024-2026.

Siluanov did not say on Wednesday how much defence spending would amount to in 2023, based on the final estimate of total spending.

Spending under the “national defence” section of Russia’s budget will rise to 10.78 trillion roubles next year, or 29.4% of the total planned expenditure of 36.66 trillion roubles, according to the finance ministry’s budget documents.

($1 = 91.6205 roubles)

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, writing by Ksenia Orlova; Editing by Gareth Jones)