Moscow, 20 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - A top Russian government official said that Russia will boost defense spending next year to carry out much needed military reform.
In comments, carried today by Interfax, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yakov Urinson said that in 1998 Russia will spend some $ 16 billion dollars on defense compared to some $ 14 billion this year.
Urinson said also Russia planned to spend some $ 8 billion on law enforcement and state security bodies.
He told Interfax that the priorities of military spending will be changed, focusing on purchases of modern equipment, military research and training. Earlier this week Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev pledged to modernise Russia's outdated armed forces.
Urinson said the concept of annual increase of military spending was approved yesterday at a meeting of a committee in charge of financing military reform under First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais.