13:21 GMT +3 hours22 November 2014
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Russia

Medvedev Pledges Education Spending to Match Defense

Russia
(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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Russia will spend almost a trillion US dollars by 2020 to improve its educational standards and promote the country’s innovation-based development, matching what it will spend on defense, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

Russia will spend almost a trillion US dollars by 2020 to improve its educational standards and promote the country’s innovation-based development, matching what it will spend on defense, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

“Russia’s planned consolidated budget spending on education will be about 8 trillion rubles [$258 billion] by 2015, and the spending forecast for 2016-2020 is over 20 trillion rubles [$645 billion],” Medvedev told a government meeting.

That sum is comparable with Russia’s future defense spending, Medvedev said. The Russian government intends to spend over 20 trillion rubles to modernize its armed forces by 2020 and supply them with modern combat hardware.

Education is a top priority task for the government, Medvedev said.

“It is important that schools and universities should prepare youth for work in competitive conditions and help bring out the youth’s capabilities and initiative. This is an important driver for the country’s development,” Medvedev said.

Russian educational standards have plunged sharply since the break-up of the Soviet Union due to chronic under-financing in the sector, particulary low pay in the teaching profession. The lack of proper working conditions and good salaries for young scientists has led to a large-scale brain drain from Russia.