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Russian MPs approve 68% increase in military spending

by Dmytro Basmat October 27, 2023 6:01 AM 2 min read
The Russian national flag flies atop the Russian State Duma, the nation's lower house of parliament, July 14, 2023. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian members of parliament voted in favor of a 68% increase in military spending to fund Russia's war in Ukraine on Oct. 26.

Russian lawmakers voted 320-80 in support of the increased military budget in the first reading of a spending bill.

Military spending will account for nearly a third of all Russian expenditures in 2024.

This surge in military spending aligns with the Kremlin's decision to channel 6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) into the military budget, amounting to 10.8 trillion rubles ($112 billion). This stands in stark contrast to the 6.4 trillion rubles ($67 billion) allocated in 2023.

The Kremlin contends that a substantial boost in spending is essential to funding Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

"It is obvious that such an increase is absolutely necessary because we are in a state of hybrid war," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier in October.

Russia's increase in military spending comes amid domestic worries, with an economy battered by Western sanctions and the costs of waging war in Ukraine. Russia's Central Bank previously hiked key interest rates to 13 per cent in an attempt to halt the sharp decline of the ruble.

The lower chamber will now hear two more readings of the bill, before sending it to the upper house for approval, and then to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for signing.

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