S [sic] military spending in 2014 was estimated at US$612 billion, which surpassed all other 125 countries on the list. Its ground force alone counts 8,300 tanks, 25,700 armored personnel carriers, 17,000 artillery pieces and 1,300 multiple rocket launching systems. Russia’s defense budget last year was about US$76 billion. A Russian military expert told Moscow’s Vzglyad that Russia however has some advantages the United States does not have.
A Russian newspaper has published an article suggesting that the Kremlin-favoured South Stream gas pipeline could drop Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia for its route, and instead reach its final destinations, Italy and Austria, through Turkey and Greece.
On Monday (18 August), Russian business newspaper Vzglyad published an article by journalist Oleg Makarenko, claiming that Gazprom has a “plan B” in case Bulgaria continues to obstruct the construction of the South Stream pipeline.
A caretaker government in Sofia, which took office on 6 August, has frozen the construction of South Stream, following clear indications from Brussels that the EU executive would impose infringements on Bulgaria, unless the country re-negotiates its bilateral agreement with Russia for the construction of the pipeline, which is in breach of EU law.