Russia’s military operation in Syria cost 33 billion rubles (appr. $464 mln) from the Defense Ministry’s budget for military drills and training, Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“The military operation in Syria, of course, required certain spending but the main part was from Defense Ministry’s resources – around 33 billion rubles. [This sum] was included in the ministry’s 2015 budget for holding drills and military training. We just redirected these resources for supporting the group in Syria,” Putin said.
According to the Russian leader, additional costs are required after the operation in Syria but they are justified in order not to pay a higher price in future. Russia’s weaponry has been successfully tested in combat in Syria and this experience will help improve the Russian Armed Forces, he stressed.
“No one has invented a more effective way to perfect one’s military skills than in real combat actions. In this sense, military resources should better be used and spent in action than at the training range,” state-run news agency TASS quotes Vladimir Putin as saying.
On Monday, Vladimir Putin ordered to start pulling the best part of Russian forces out of Syria on March, 15. However, he stressed that Russia might build up its military presence again at any moment. He promised to continue fighting against terrorism in Syria.
Russia’s military operation in Syria was launched on Seprember 30, 2015. The Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament) granted permission to Vladimir Putin to use the country’s troops in Syria. Sergey Ivanov, Kremlin chief of staff, stressed that Russia was going to use only its Air Force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s request.
International community blasted Russia for engaging in airstrikes against moderate anti-Assad rebels and civilians.
Belsat.eu, following TASS