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Tank Purchases Ground to Halt

The armed forces have ceased buying new Russian-produced armored vehicles and have given military contractors five years to develop new models, General Staff head Nikolai Makarov said Tuesday.

"We have a complicated situation with the Ground Forces. We have stopped purchases of armored vehicles," Makarov said, according to RIA-Novosti.

In November, Makarov told the Public Chamber that the Russian-produced T-90 tank is significantly inferior to the Israeli-made Merkava, Vedomosti reported.

On Tuesday, Vedomosti reported that the government might cut military costs by 700 billion rubles ($23.3 billion) annually and divert the money to health care and education.

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