The lower house of the Russian parliament – the State Duma, approved the budget of Russia, The Associated Press reports.
It is embedded in it an increase in spending of about 25% in 2024. and allocating a record amount to defense.
The 2024-2026 budget was developed specifically to finance the Russian military and to mitigate the impact of “17,500 sanctions” on Russia, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.
According to the spending plan – the largest so far in the country, it is foreseen next year, defense spending will overtake social spending for the first time in modern Russian history. The move comes as the Kremlin seeks to shore up support for President Vladimir Putin ahead of presidential elections in March.
Russia has doubled its planned military spending
This is a third of all public expenditure of the country
Analysts say record low unemployment, higher wages and targeted social spending should help the Kremlin overcome the domestic impact of the economy’s turn to war, but could pose a problem in the long term.
The budget “is about resolving the war in Ukraine and preparing for eternal military confrontation with the West”said Richard Connolly, an expert on the Russian military and economy at the Royal United Services Institute in London.
“This is equivalent to a complete remilitarization of Russian society,” he pointed out.
The Russian Communist Party voted against the budget, criticizing “low pensions” and insufficient financial support for the elderly.
The budget will now go to the Federation Council – the upper house of the Russian parliament – for approval and then be signed by Putin.
The Russian state budget went red
It ended with a deficit in the first half of the year
“In these difficult conditions, we managed to adopt a budget that will not only provide the necessary funds for the defense of our country, but will also provide all the necessary funds to guarantee the social obligations of the state,” said the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Alexander Zhukov .
Russia’s Ministry of Finance said it expected in 2024, spending to reach 36.66 trillion rubles (about $411 billion), with a projected budget deficit of 0.8% of Russia’s gross domestic product.
Part of Russia’s budget is classified as the Kremlin tries to hide its military plans and bypass scrutiny of its military actions in Ukraine.
However, the independent journalists Farida Rustamova and Maxim Tovkailo indicated in “Telegram” that next year about 39% of all government spending will go to defense and law enforcement.
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