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Russia sees economic gains through defense

Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

MOSCOW, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Military modernization will help Russia's economy rely less on oil and gas in favor of a "cult of an engineer and constructor," a government official said.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees Russia's defense industry, told an audience in Moscow Saturday arms procurement will expand Russia's industrial base and lessen its dependence on energy production, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"By 2020, the moment of the weapons program implementation, we will be living in a quite another country, Rogozin said. "In the country, which will surely get off the oil and gas needle, in the country which will have new modern plants, in the country, where the cult of an engineer and constructor will be created."

Russia earmarked 908 billion rubles ($30.7 billion) for defense spending last year. The Kremlin plans to upgrade its military equipment at a rate of 11 percent annually through the end of the decade, RIA Novosti said.

A large chunk of the allocations will be used for research-and-development programs, the report said.

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