Putin pledges US$650 bln to modernise Russia’s army


Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says that the government had pledged 20 trillion roubles (US$646 billion) through 2020 to modernise and re-arm Russia’s military.

Russia’s armed forces have demanded an increase in spending to modernise its ageing infrastructure and weapons systems after years of insufficient funding, which undermined its performance in local conflicts after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
“We are allocating very serious, significant funds for the re-armament programme. I am even scared to pronounce this figure: 20 trillion roubles,” Putin told government ministers and top military officers, reports Reuters.
“We need to finally overcome the consequences of those years when the army and the navy were seriously underfinanced,” Putin told the group at the SevMash naval shipyard in the northern town of Severodvinsk, on the White Sea.

Putin said the modernisation programme would focus on strategic nuclear forces, air-defence systems, communication, intelligence, a fifth-generation fighter plane and on the navy, which would receive about 4.7 trillion roubles.