Russia: for 2024-2026 the budget is war, 27% classified and military and social expenses

Russia is not preparing for peace, with allocations for the next three years “necessary to ensure victory”, as summarized by the Minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov, while clear signs of fatigue are arriving from Western countries, starting with the United States political and economic to continue aid to Ukraine.

The budget forecast for 2024-2026 approved by the two chambers of Parliament, awaiting only Vladimir Putin’s signature, is the most secret ever launched, with just under 27 percent of expenses classified (compared to 18 percent in 2022 , and 15 percent in 2021) and is the one in which the expenditure allocated to the national defense sector (the equivalent of 120.8 billion dollars, 10.7 trillion rubles) exceeds, by far, those social (84.7 billion dollars), which also include other items of a military nature, such as healthcare costs for soldiers wounded at the front.

The classified spending remains the highest ever enacted, even though during the various readings in the Duma the transfer of 79 billion dollars from the classified to the open section was approved.

To cope with the increase in military spending, the Russian treasury will have to collect the equivalent of 395 billion dollars in taxes, 22 percent more than it collected this year. And this will be possible from new duties on exports, from the improvement of tax collection and excise duties on tobacco and alcohol, or “from other sources”, as Siluanov said during the debate in the Duma, without specifying anything else that is not difficult to identify in a increase in taxes for citizens and businesses.

The Court of Auditors estimates the possible deficit at 1.3 billion in 2024, 1.5 billion in 2015 and 1.7 in 2026. But things could be much worse, according to forecasts by private analysts.

Businesses are preparing to see their profits slashed. The only thing they ask of the Kremlin – as emerged in the recent meeting between Putin and the leaders of the productive world, in his residence on the outskirts of Moscow, late in the evening – is predictability.

The three-year budget also allocates funds for the reconstruction of the four occupied Ukrainian regions annexed last year. And during the parliamentary debate, the independent news site Meduza writes, such funds increased. For 2024, several hundred million dollars have been added to the initial $2.6 billion.

The items in this spending chapter are the reconstruction of civilian homes destroyed or damaged due to the fighting, to which 271.9 million dollars will go, the development of the coal sector in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, 25 million dollars, and the recapitalization of industrial development funds, more than 44 million.

It was indexed, on the initiative of deputies, to the salaries of security agency employees which the original version of the text left untouched.