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Russian Finance Minister Says Country Can't Afford Current Military Spending

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the country's military spending plans need to be "more realistic" and take into consideration forecasts for economic growth and budget revenue.

Siluanov addressed Russia's Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, on October 7 and said his ministry wanted to reconsider the amount to be spent from the state budget on Russia's multibillion dollar program to rearm and modernize the military.

Siluanov said currently Russian simply could not afford such spending and added the finance and defense ministries have already started talks on which programs could be financed from state coffers.

The current plan calls for spending some $576 billion on defense in the next six years.

Western sanctions against Russia over the Kremlin's interference in Ukraine have hit Russian energy companies especially hard and those companies are responsible for bringing in a large amount of revenue to the Russian state.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters