Russia to increase defense spending amid new sanctions: PM

In light of fresh sanctions from the West, the Russian government will shift the focus of budget spending toward more generous support for the defense sector, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

“Pressure mounted on Russia would affect our budget policy, with more emphasis to be made on defense and security spending,” Interfax news agency quoted Medvedev as saying at a government meeting.

The government would still fulfill all its social obligations, he said, adding: “We’ve got plenty of money for that.”

He also said new Western sanctions would only fuel anti-Western sentiment among Russians.

“The Russian society will further consolidate in its rejection of the countries and persons which attempt to restrict our country and hurt its citizens’ interests,” the prime minister said.

The United States and the European Union have announced new sets of sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, targeting individuals and major Russian firms in the financial, energy and arms sectors.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is currently in Brazil, said the sanctions would have a “boomerang effect” and push U.S.-Russian relations into a dead end, but Moscow was still open for dialogue.

Xiang Bo

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