USSR cutting military spending, Russia's share in this could amount to 60%
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MOSCOW. Nov 30 (Interfax) – All necessary work at the level of the Armed Forces has been done to begin fruitful political negotiations on the withdrawal of part of the Northwestern Group of Forces from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Soviet Defense Ministry's information department chief, Valery Manilov, said.
Speaking at a briefing in Moscow on Friday, he confirmed that the withdrawal of troops from the Baltic States would begin after the withdrawal of troops from Poland and Germany has been completed, which is not before the end of 1994. All those discharged and retired from the active service will receive life-long pensions at the expense of the Soviet Defense Ministry regardless of their place of abode. Payments will be made in relevant currencies after the Baltic States introduce their national currencies.
Asked by Interfax about the results of the third defense consultations of representatives of the sovereign republics, Manilov said that in general all issues related to forming the budget of the common armed forces for 1992 were solved. It was decided at the discussions that the contribution of each republic depends on its population, GDP, the number of deployed troops and national income. Representatives of Ukraine, Moldova and Azerbaijan did not take part in the discussions. According to estimates, Russia's contribution will amount to 60% and Ukraine's to 17%. Belarus, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan will contribute about 4% each.
It is expected that the general military expenditures will go down by 2%-5%. Production of arms and military equipment will be halved compared to 1989.
Draft provisional regulations on the council of defense ministers of the sovereign republics, which is expected to become a consultative body at the Soviet Defense Ministry and hold its sessions in sovereign republics alternately, was submitted for the State Council's consideration. All decisions of the council defense ministers are considered adopted only if all defense ministers approve them, while disputed issues will be referred to the State Council and the Soviet president.
About 22.2% of those who received call-up papers reported to military enlistment offices in the first three weeks of the army conscription season that began on November 10, Manilov said. While 11.4% of conscripts failed to report to enlistment offices in Moscow, the figure is as high as 43.1% for the Chechen Ingush Republic.