Russia Bolsters Black Sea Fleet: Kremlin to spend USD 545bn on military to counter NATO expansion

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Russia will add 80 new warships to its Black Sea Fleet by 2020 and complete a second naval base by 2016 in Russia, according to a fleet commander. Vice Admiral Alexander Vitko told President Putin a bigger force was needed to counter NATO’s expansion and operations in the Black Sea.
The new plans are part of a wider Kremlin initiative to refurbish the Russian armed forces. Officials estimate USD 545 billion will be spent before the end of the decade. Last year, Russia was the third largest military spender in the world, only surpassed by China and the US. This is despite Putin insisting earlier this month he wasn’t going to get involved in an arms race.

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