Russia’s military expenditures at the beginning of the 21st century

This essay presents the evolution of the Russian military budget since the end of USSR, by comparing official data with those supplied by different Western organizations (IMF, SIPRI, ISS…). Thus, various problems concerning the estimates of Russian military expenditures are discussed, as well as the lack of a clear definition of the content of military expenditures, the culture of secrecy and the traditional use of statistics for political purposes. The Russian statistics of military expenditures therefore seem debatable. However, the major trends of Russian military expenditures may be highlighted. Moreover, other characteristics of the Russian military sector, notably as regards the level of arms production and the reorganization of the arms industry, are also studied. The issue of Russia’s armament and disarmament is set back in a global strategic perspective. It seems that the new Russian defence policy still remains under construction, in a new strategic context and a global economic environment. –Summary AFRI-2003