- The Washington Times - Friday, June 26, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin said $400 billion must be spent on military upgrades through 2020.

Mr. Putin said Thursday that military spending will serve as a “guarantor of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia,” The Associated Press reported.

The Russian president made the comments while speaking to graduates of Russian military academies at the Kremlin, AP reported. He added that the military modernization was not rooted in a desire to “settle any disputes exclusively by political means with respect to international law and interests of other nations.”

Russia is currently in a recession, partly due to falling oil prices and sanctions levied against the nation in response to its annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Russian officials deny that the Kremlin is providing Ukraine’s pro-Russian rebels with resources needed to foment unrest.

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