Bloomberg: Russia plans massive hike in defense spending in 2024

Next year, Russia's defense spending will be increased to 6% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) from 3.9% this year and 2.7% in 2021, Bloomberg reported on Sept. 22.

Based on the proposals discussed by the Russian government on Sept. 22, defense spending in 2024 would amount to 10.8 trillion rubles ($112 billion), compared to 6.4 trillion rubles ($67 billion) in 2023, Bloomberg said.

Based on the draft budget plans seen by Bloomberg, secret expenditure of classified or unspecified items that the Kremlin keeps from the public to avoid scrutiny of the war's impact is expected to nearly double.

According to the news outlet, classified expenditures would rise from 6.5 trillion rubles ($68 billion) this year to $11.1 trillion rubles ($116 billion) in the next, amounting to 30% of the total budget spending.

Reuters reported in August that Russia doubled its defense spending for this year to over $100 billion after it spent 5.59 trillion rubles ($59 billion) on military expenditures already in the first six months.

Although the country's January-August 2023 budget deficit amounts to $24 billion, Moscow reportedly expects the deficit to nearly halve next year, making it only 0.9% of its GDP compared to 1.8% in 2023.

Russia also expects a rise in oil and gas revenue, which makes up a significant chunk of the country's income, according to Bloomberg.

Russia has been seeking new markets for its oil products, namely in India and China, as Europe seeks to decouple itself from Russian fossil fuels due to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

However, Global Witness reported in August that countries like Spain and Belgium import a record volume of liquified natural gas from Russia, further filling Moscow's coffers with energy export revenue.

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