On July 29, at an event marking his country’s Navy Day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that 26 new warships and vessels would be delivered to Russia’s navy by the end of the year. And there is more to come. Russian units in just the Pacific expect to take delivery of 37 new vessels by 2024 – a major acceleration compared to the 28 new units received in the region over the last decade. This indicates that despite scrapping programs deemed too expensive – notably the Leader-class destroyer and Storm aircraft carrier program – the Kremlin is moving ahead with a very ambitious naval upgrade. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox The finance is in place. Russia’s defense spending has not reached an unsustainable level, given that current oil prices – taxes and duties on natural resources are the major component of Russian budget – are 30% higher than planned for in the budget forecast for 2018–2021 fiscal years, according to Andrey Movchan, head of the economic program at the Carnegie Moscow Center. The Kremlin believes that matching US and Chinese military potential is of paramount importance. Even so, it has a way to go:… Read full this story
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