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10:57 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Russian military spending to hit $50 bln in 2009

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Russia's military spending will reach 1.3 trillion rubles ($50 billion) in 2009, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Thursday.
GORKI (Moscow Region), October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's military spending will reach 1.3 trillion rubles ($50 billion) in 2009, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Thursday.

Ivanov met with President Dmitry Medvedev ahead of the State Duma's second reading of the 2009-11 draft state budget.

"This is the total aggregate amount (1.3 trillion rubles) for 2009. I hope that the State Duma will approve this sum in its second reading tomorrow," Ivanov said.

He also said that following the events in the Caucasus, the targets had been reviewed and the defense budget for 2009 had been increased by 60 billion rubles ($2.3 billion), "in addition to the 20 billion rubles allocated for the establishment of two new military bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia."

Medvedev said that military spending should be maintained, adding that the defense budget been increased in accordance with his instructions.

Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in August after Georgia launched a military offensive against South Ossetia in an attempt to regain control over the republic, which split from Georgia in the early 1990s.