While Russian military preparedness and arms technology is almost certainly much better than the Kremlin lets on, this is still significant.
From Russia Today:
A new multi-billion dollar agency will develop cutting-edge Russian weapons, after the Russian Duma overwhelmingly voted to establish the Future Research Fund (FPI).
The FPI’s budget has not been finalized, but media speculation has predicted that it could be given more than $100 billion between now and 2020, though the funding is expected to be ramped up in steps.“After 20 years of stagnation it will be hard to catch up with the West’s weapons development the ordinary way,” Vice Premier Dmitry Rogozin told the deputies ahead of the vote.
“We need a radical organization ready to take risks and work in the most promising areas. A real predator.”
The final vote tally was 425 for, 25 against.
Rogozin, who is the mastermind behind FPI and is expected to take charge of the new organization, is a divisive figure in Russian politics.
A journalist by education, he was widely known as a firebrand nationalist, who was once barred from running in an election for his xenophobic views. Since then, he has made a stunning political comeback, first serving as Russia’s prickly ambassador to NATO, before becoming one of the country’s most influential politicians.
Incidentally, while he was Russian Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin followed this blog on Twitter.