Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the defense ministry spent 33 billion rubles [$484 million] on its military operation in Syria.
Putin's remarks came on Thursday at the Kremlin during a ceremony for Russian military who served in Syria.
"The military operation in Syria, of course, required certain spending but the main part was from defense ministry’s resources – around 33 billion rubles. [This sum] was included in the ministry’s 2015 budget for holding drills and military training. We just redirected these resources for supporting the group in Syria," official Russian news agency Tass quoted Putin as saying.
Putin said the operation helped in improving Russian military: "The modern Russian weaponry has proved its worth in real combat conditions rather than at training ranges. This is the most rigorous test," he added.
The president said the experience had led Russia to fulfill adjustments, create new weapons and improve armed forces.
On Tuesday several Russian bombers and jets reportedly left Syria following Putin’s announcement.
He said that he will withdraw about half of his forces from Syria while those at the Hmeimim airbase and Tartus port will remain.
Russia’s S-400 fourth-generation advanced air defense missiles stationed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea will also stay in place.
Putin also said on Thursday that the air defense systems will be used against "any targets" which Russia considers as threat.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.