In the period January-February 23, the Russian authorities increased defense spending almost 4 times y/y
This material was produced in Russia, where it is prohibited by law to cover the special military operation of the Russian Federation in Ukraine
MOSCOW, May 15 (Reuters) – Russian authorities spent almost four times more on defense in the first two months of 2023 than in the same period last year, according to data from one budget system portal that collects information from the Federal Treasury.
According to the agency, in January-February, federal budget spending in the “national defense” section amounted to 2 trillion rubles, compared to 525.4 billion rubles in the first two months of 2022. Thus, the increase compared to the same period last year was 282%, which illustrates Moscow’s growing spending on a “special” military operation in Ukraine.
This is the first official data since May 2022, when the Russian Ministry of Finance stopped publishing monthly data on the implementation of Russian budget spending in certain areas, citing the risk of additional sanctions.
So, according to the portal, in January 1.18 trillion rubles were spent on defense items, in February – 822.4 billion rubles.
The leader in terms of spending was the National Defense Section. In January-February, defense spending accounted for 36.2% of total budget spending, 1.7 times more than spending on social policy (1.2 trillion roubles) and more than four times the spending on the national economy (483.9 billion roubles).
For 2023, the budget law sets defense spending at 4.98 trillion rubles, or 17.1% of the total approved spending. Therefore, in the first two months, the authorities have already spent more than 40% of the annual plan on this direction.
At the end of 2022, the authorities spent 5.51 trillion rubles, or 17.7% of total spending for that year, on defense, compared to 3.57 trillion rubles, or 14.4%, in 2021.
Rising military production and massive government spending are keeping Russian industry afloat, helping to mitigate the economic impact of Western sanctions. The federal budget deficit for the first four months of 2023 increased to 3.42 trillion rubles, exceeding the annual plan by 17%.