"The reason is defense spending is not meant for participation in current local or geopolitical situations. It is meant for strengthening Russia’s defenses along the perimeter borders, in all areas of potential combat operations," Kudrin explained.
Kudrin said that Russia’s operation in Syria was "not a very critical budget spending item." "In the medium term Syria is not a super-heavy burden. There are far more military and political risks that leave a certain imprint on the investment climate and on the investors," he said. Kudrin said that measures to incorporate Crimea and humanitarian support for the East of Ukraine have cost the Russian treasury far more than the operation in Syria.