Policy Memos

Main Problems for Civilian Control of Military Budgets in Russia

Policy Memo:


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To some extent, one can say that in Russia now there is no control over military expenditures, neither by civilians nor the military. For five years the government has followed its own budget targets without regard to military requirements. The military command has made unauthorized expenditures without regard to the financial capabilities of a state experiencing a deep economic decline. The president and the parliament play the role of referees whose interference as yet has not improved the picture of financial clashes between civil and military interests. At the same time national security is becoming a main source of public concern and the necessity of the military reform is clear to the country's leadership. Only 5-10 years ago the public demanded both disclosure of military expenditures and spending reductions several times. Today according to some polls, about 51% of Russians would object to increases in military expenditures, which the government constantly tries to keep at the level of 3.5% of GDP (but which in reality are 7-9% of GDP taking into account the debts of the Russian DOD and total defense-related expenditures). [...]

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