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China, Russia and eastern Europe boost defence spending

Ukrainian servicemen take part in a military drill in the Zhytomyr region, some 150 kms from Kiev, on April 9, 2015Military spending increased sharply in 2014 in China and Russia and the Ukraine conflict prompted eastern European countries to boost their defence programmes, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released Monday. The United States remains the world’s biggest spender on defence, but it spent 6.4 percent less year-on-year in 2014, while China, Russia and Saudi Arabia — the world’s next three highest spenders — all increased their expenditures.

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