Russia doubles plan of defense spending

The Russian government in Moscow has doubled its defense spending plan for 2023 to more than $100 billion.

This accounts for one-third of all public spending, reported The Kyiv Independent citing the Reuters news agency. In the first half of the year, Russia already spent 5.59 trillion rubles ($59 billion), representing a total of 37.3 percent of the total 14.97 rubles spent by the state in the period. The news agency cited an exclusive document it obtained, as Russian spending on certain sectors is no longer public. Reuters reported that the Russian budget has a deficit of $28 billion, due in part to falling export profits.

Russia loses revenue due to falling export profits

A large part of Russia’s profits has traditionally come from oil and gas export revenues. The European market, which used to be a major destination for these exports, is drying up due to Western resistance to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Rising military costs could further widen this deficit, according to Reuters. In January and February 2023, Russia’s defense spending totaled 2 trillion rubles ($21 billion), up 282% from the same period in 2022, according to public data.

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Image: Presidential Executive Office of Russia, Visit to joint staff of military branches involved in special military operation 04, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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