As Russia’s economic downturn continues, some experts and politicians are sounding an alarm about the country’s long-term competitiveness, and are calling for increased government spending to stimulate manufacturing and bolster education. Investment in those sectors has not seemed to be a government priority of late, but there are signs that official thinking may be changing.
Russia’s budget deficit is projected to hit 4 percent of GDP in 2016. That, in turn, is expected to lead to a 10-percent decline in government spending this year. Given the significant costs associated with maintaining Russia’s (even downsized) military expedition in Syria, the reduction in spending will likely necessitate big budget cuts outside of the defense sector.
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