Putin Sets Out Third-Term Spending Plans

Vladimir Putin has issued a host of decrees outlining the spending plans of his third term as president, Vedomosti daily reported on Thursday.

The 11 decrees, signed on May 7, the day Putin regained the Russian presidency in a ceremony at the Kremlin, cover social, economic and military policies, the paper said.

Seventy percent of the machinery used by Russia’s armed forces will be brand new by 2020, one decree said.

The Defense Ministry will no longer be in charge of arms procurement, it said.

The ministry has pledged 20 trillion rubles ($659 billion) for arms procurement through 2020, but officials have complained of delays and the program has been marred by a series of scandals.

Former president Dmitry Medvedev, who was installed as prime minister earlier this week as part of a power swap agreed with Putin last year, said on Tuesday a new system of placing state procurement orders will be put in place when he finishes work setting up his new government.

Putin also ordered the number of volunteer, contract servicemen increased by 50,000 people annually over the next five years.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Vedomosti the plans were modelled on a series of newspaper articles he had published in the runup to his March 4 landslide election victory.

Putin was forced to step down in 2008 by a Constitution that forbids more than two subsequent terms, but is silent on further presidential stints. He shifted to the post of prime minister after installing his protege Medvedev in the Kremlin, but few doubt he remained Russia’s most powerful politician.

On the social and economic fronts, Putin’s administration plans to increase life expectancy from 69 to 74 and create 25 million new workplaces. Wages will go up by 1.5 by 2018.

The decrees, posted on the Kremlin’s website, also envisage changes to the pension and mortgage systems.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, said the nation will have to spend some 5.1 trillion rubles ($168 billion) to implement the plans.


Leave a comment