Russia has moved up to fourth place in the global military spending rankings, Vedomosti wrote, citing a report published by Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on April 27. According to the report, Russia’s military expenditures stood at $65.1 billion in 2019, which is 4.5% more than in 2018.
According to SIPRI, the top three military spenders are the United States ($732 billion), China ($261 billion), and India ($71.1 billion). Russia is followed by Saudi Arabia in fifth place ($61.9 billion).
These top five account for 60% of global military spending, SIPRI analysts pointed out.
Konstantin Makienko, an expert with the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, says that SIPRI tends to exaggerate Russia’s military expenditure. In 2019, like in 2018, the “National Defense” segment of Russia’s federal budget did not exceed three trillion rubles, which amounts to about $50 billion.
Even if the money allocated to other paramilitary agencies and programs not covered by this particular segment of the budget is taken into account, the total amount will hardly reach $65.1 billion, the expert noted.
According to Makienko, given the inflation rate, Russia’s military spending has more likely been declining in recent years, compared to that of other major countries. It is hard to say what the picture will be once the coronavirus pandemic is over but Russia’s military spending will hardly increase in the coming years if the current trends persist, the expert said.