Putin: Russia concerned about rapid militarization of Ukraine amid economic crisis

Russia is concerned about militarization of Ukraine and a growth of its defense budget amid the economic recession, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Russia is concerned about militarization of Ukraine and a growth of its defense budget amid the economic recession, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"Ukraine is militarizing rapidly. We can judge by the statistics: in 2014, the Ukrainian military budget increased by almost 41 percent. This year, according to preliminary data, it will more than triple and reach more than $3 billion - which is about 5 percent of the country's GDP," he said in an interview with the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram before his visit to Cairo.

"And this is happening when its economy supported mostly with international, including Russian, funds is in rather deplorable situation," the Russian president emphasized.

"We certainly feel worried. We hope that common sense will prevail," he said.

"The situation in Donbas has aggravated dramatically. Ukrainian security forces resumed the bombing of Donetsk, Lugansk and other residential areas in the region. They are building up their military presence there. The "new wave" of mass mobilization has been announced in the country; there are calls for "taking revenge" after summer "military failures" and for a forceful "Ukrainization of Donbass"," Putin said.

Read more: Talks on Ukraine to continue>>>

On Friday, Feb. 6 German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine. Merkel and Hollande had spent the previous day in Kiev, where they met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for about five hours.

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