Moscow, 8 September 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said today that the country's military forces are to be reduced by nearly one-third over the next two-and-half years. Sergeyev said a decision on force reduction has been made and the focus now is on how to implement it.
Sergeyev, speaking at a ceremony at the headquarters of the Kantemirovskaya tank division outside of Moscow, said the armed forces will be reduced by some 350,000 servicemen by 2003.
Russia has already cut its forces from 5 million to 1.2 million during the past decade. Russia's current defense budget is estimated at about $5.1 billion.