Russia continues to increase its defense expenditures to modernize military capabilities. Money in the growing budget is being spent to reshape the national military, which is being transformed into a smaller but more effective and better-equipped force.
The federal budget for 2012 and 2013?14, approved by the Duma in November, calls for further growth of defense expenditures despite a budget deficit. Expenditures could be up 20.9% to 1.85 trillion rubles ($59.8 billion) from 2011, and account for 14.6% of the budget versus 13.9% last year.
Vice Premier Sergey Ivanov announced in late November that the defense procurement plan for 2012 that was to be approved by the end of last year could grow to 2.2 trillion rubles in 2013, and 2.6 trillion rubles in 2014. It may even be more: In the 2011 budget, for example, defense expenditures for 2012 and 2013 were estimated to be 1.6 trillion rubles and 2.1 trillion rubles, respectively.
Military spending as a share of GDP will be 3.1% this year and grow to 3.6% in 2013 and 3.8% in 2014. The Duma’s defense committee notes that beginning in 2013, defense expenditures will finally match the target level of 3.5% of GDP set by Russia’s security council.
Almost 77% of defense expenditures for 2012 will go for the national armed forces. Half of this—730 billion rubles—will be spent on procurement and development of new weapons, or 20% more than in 2011. In coming years these expenditures are set to increase significantly, by 58% in 2013 and by 26% in 2014. According to the military, the rearmament priorities include the strategic nuclear forces, ballistic missiles and air defense; aviation; space systems and systems for command, control, communication, reconnaissance and electronic warfare.
Military purchases are planned within a 10-year procurement program adopted by the government at the end of 2010. The program through 2020 is estimated at 19 trillion rubles. Besides the armed forces, it includes weapons procurement programs for the interior ministry and other paramilitary organizations.
Read our latest reporting on Russia's weapons procurement: Russian Military Continue Massive Re-armament