MOSCOW, NOV. 22 -- The Soviet Defense Ministry said today that it plans to cut spending next year by about 6 percent, because of recent arms-reduction accords and improved East-West relations.
Col. Gen. Vladimir Babyev, head of the ministry's finance department, said preliminary figures put the new budget at $121 billion at the official rate, compared with $129 billion in 1990.
"The ministry made this proposal based on the new tasks of the Soviet armed forces due to development of the disarmament process, lower military tension and the signing of a treaty between NATO and the Warsaw Pact," Babyev told the official Tass news agency.
The Soviet Union and its five Warsaw Pact allies signed a treaty in Paris on Monday with the 16 nations of the NATO alliance in which the two sides pledged to destroy a quarter of a million non-nuclear weapons amassed during four decades of the Cold War.
Babyev said the Soviet parliament's Defense and State Security Committee supported the ministry's proposal, which must be approved by the government and then presented to parliament.
The proposed cuts follow an 8.2 percent drop in military spending in 1990. They would affect virtually every area of defense spending, although there would be increased funding to improve the living standards of servicemen.
President Mikhail Gorbachev's plans to save the economy from collapse and introduce market mechanisms require moving resources from the military to the civilian sector.
Conservative officers have complained bitterly about the declining prestige of the army.
With hard-line officers blaming the reform process for fomenting anti-military sentiment and ethnic unrest, military coup rumors have been rife since September.
The army has been demanding extra resources to meet the needs of regiments returning from Eastern Europe.