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Draft Russian Plan Would Boost Nuclear-Arms Funds by 50 Percent

A draft Russian government budget would boost spending on the country's nuclear arsenal more than 50 percent by 2016, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.

The State Duma Defense Committee report on the proposed national spending plan for 2014-2016 says that approximately $1.4 billion is to be allocated to nuclear arms in 2016. That's compared to the roughly $906 million budgeted for this year and the $766 million spent in 2012. The budget was sent to the Russian parliament's lower house last week. Parliament typically rubber-stamps the activities of President Vladimir Putin.

Russia is in the middle of an effort to overhaul its nuclear weapon-delivery systems, particularly its SLBMs and the submarines that would carry them as well as its land-based strategic ballistic missiles.

The draft budget would raise total military spending three-fifths in the next three years to approximately $105 billion in 2016. Federal spending plans in Russia are approved every three years instead of each year.

The United States spends significantly more annually on its nuclear weapons programs. The Pentagon in its fiscal 2014 budget proposal requested $12 billion though Congress has yet to approve any nuclear arsenal spending for the current fiscal year.

While nuclear and other military spending is on track to rise, spending in other government sections could fall by as much as 5 percent through 2016, according to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

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