EVEN as fears of Russia is rising, its military spending is actually decreasing.

IN TERMS of its military presence, Russia has rivalled the United States in recent years, launching major operations in Ukraine and Syria and having rising ambitions in the Arctic.

But its spending power may not match its global ambitions for much longer, numbers by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute [Sipri] have revealed.

While global military spending grew last year, Russia's fell from $69.2 billion in 2016 to $66.3 billion.

It was the first time Russian military expenditure fell since 1998 - the year the country defaulted on its debts.

Throughout the era of President Vladimir Putin, military spending increased continuously, but it could now stay flat or even decrease further over the nest few years.

The Kremlin's military spending made up 4.3 per cent of the gross domestic product last year, and there are plans to cut it below 3 per cent within five years, which could either be achieved through [a rather unlikely] economic growth or radical cuts.

The Kremlin plans to cut back on its military comes as military expenditure is on the rise across the  world, topping $1.74 trillion in 2017.

While US spending still outmatched every other global power, its expenditure remained constant last year.

China's rose once again.


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