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Russian $2.7 Billion Defense Spending Push Raises Deficit Target

Russia rolled back cuts to defense spending next year, undoing reductions after embarking on its first military foray outside the former Soviet Union in three decades.

The government will reinstate 165 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) in spending on defense and security for 2016 and provide another 10 billion rubles to fund housing for World War II veterans, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a government meeting Thursday. That will swell next year’s deficit to 2.4 trillion rubles, or 3 percent of economic output, according to Siluanov. A draft budget, prepared by the ministry and published on Wednesday, projected the deficit at 2.8 percent.