The United States has ranked Russia's defense expenditure as the second largest in the world, only next to that of the US, according to the report by ITAR-TASS News Agency of Russia.
Washington's defense budget in 2005 tops 447 billion US dollars. Russia's military expenditure is 472 billion rubles (approximately 20 billion US dollars), according the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. He said many times that the military expenditure of any Central European country would exceed that of Russia.
However, as US official pointed out in a telephone interview by ITAR-TASS, Washington's calculation has included all the expenditures in the national defense field, not only the military department's budget.
"We do not understand why Russia announced the amount of 20 billion US dollars. We think it should include all the expenditures in national defense field, as long as they are related to national defense. It should not be only the defense budget or the budget of the Ministry of Defense", according to the official.
But when the journalists asked about the reasons why the US thinks the specific amount of Russia's defense expenditure is the second largest in the world, the official said he could not answer the question immediately as it requires an accurate answer.
By People's Daily Online