Ivanov: No Crisis in Defense Spending

Russia will spend nearly $50 billion in 2009 on buying weapons and hardware for its armed forces despite the economic crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Thursday.

President Dmitry Medvedev summoned Ivanov, who is responsible for the military-industrial complex, to demand that the defense sector be secured from the financial crisis raging in Russia.

"The military-industrial complex is starting to be affected by credit problems," Medvedev told Ivanov.

"I believe we should support the defense sector first of all. We cannot allow a nonpayment crisis here, and we have the resources to do this," he added.

Ivanov reported that the 2009 defense order, due to be considered as part of the national budget by the State Duma on Friday, was $49.32 billion. No comparison with 2008 was available.

Medvedev has announced plans to build new nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers.

"This is one of the underfinanced sectors," Medvedev said Thursday, referring to military shipbuilding. "We should invest money there despite the global financial situation."