MOSCOW --- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he plans to reduce military spending in 2018 and 2019 as the country will mainly focus on solving domestic problems.
The reduction will not undermine Russia's defense capabilities because it invested in creating new weapon systems in previous years, Putin said at a meeting in the Kremlin with other candidates of the March 18 presidential election.
"We will do everything to ensure that all disputes with our partners are settled through political and diplomatic means... We will not engage in arms race," he said, according to an official transcript of the meeting.
Putin said the government will focus on domestic issues in the future, including economic growth, innovation, health, education, science, infrastructure and the well-being of people.
According to preliminary data from the Central Election Commission, Putin won a fourth presidential term on Sunday, garnering more than 76 percent of ballots. He will lead Russia through 2024.