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Russia to boost state weapon orders in 2009 to $47 billion

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Russia's budget spending on state defense orders will amount to 1.2 trillion rubles ($46.8 billion) in 2009, a first deputy prime minister said on Friday.
MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's budget spending on state defense orders will amount to 1.2 trillion rubles ($46.8 billion) in 2009, a first deputy prime minister said on Friday.

The spending figure is outlined in the Russian budget for 2009-2011 which is due to be considered by Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on September 19.

"The state defense order overall for next year is planned to hit a record sum of 1.2 trillion rubles," Sergei Ivanov said.

The three-year budget envisaged additional spending of 170 billion rubles ($6.63 billion) in comparison to previous annual programs. Ivanov said the increase was caused by "the need to implement decrees made by the president and prime minister, and obviously inflation."

He said earlier that the Russian budget allocation for 2007 stood at 700 billion rubles ($30 billion) for state defense orders, with the figure expected to total 1 trillion rubles ($43 billion) in 2008.

Military analysts said Russia, which sold $7 billion worth of arms last year making it the second-largest exporter of conventional weapons after the United States, had decided to increase military spending following the five-day conflict with Georgia last month.

In July, a month before Georgia attacked the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, which Moscow recognized as a sovereign state on August 26, Georgia increased its annual military budget by an additional $210 million, taking total spending for 2008 to $997 million.

According to the press reports, the U.S., which has strongly condemned Russia for its military operation in Georgia, has a defense budget of $696 billion for this year.

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