The 2003 budget draft stipulates an increase in allocations for scientificresearch and purchases of military equipment by $1bn, Finance MinisterAlexey Kudrin announced at a meeting with journalists in the house ofgovernment today. He refused to report the total volume of budget spendingon purchasing military equipment next year but announced that expenditureson national defense would hit 346.1bn rubles (about $10.97bn at the currentexchange rate) in 2003. This will make up 14.9 percent of the total volumeof budget expenditures.According to the minister, an increase in allocations for defense is due toa rise in salaries of military men, larger purchases of military equipmentand an increase in the number of voluntary enlistees in the Russian ArmedForces..
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