Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday the military operation in Syria has cost Russia approximately 33 billion rubles ($484 million).
“The military operation in Syria demanded a certain level of spending, and for the most part, was already already included in the Defense Ministry’s 2015 budget for drills and military training,” Putin was quoted as saying by TASS.
The RBC news agency earlier this month estimated the cost of Syrian campaign at 38 billion rubles ($557 million) minimum, but the Kremlin did not confirm the estimate.
Russia began what it describes as counterterrorism air strikes in Syria in September last year. On Monday, Putin ordered defense chiefs to withdraw “the main part” of the Russian forces in Syria.
Today (Thursday) Putin addressed a group of servicemen in the Kremlin. He said Moscow would be able to build up its military presence in Syria in a matter of hours if necessary.