Ukraine: Putin says Russia has never refused peace talks

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Russian Budget


Under the budget, the country's largest, defense expenditure is expected to overtake social spending next year for the first time in modern Russian history. It comes as the Kremlin is eager to shore up support for President Vladimir Putin before a March presidential election. Richard Connolly, an expert on Russia's military and economy at the Royal United Services Institute in London said the budget amounts to the "wholesale remilitarization of Russian society."