Ukraine to spend UAH 163 bln on defense and security in 2018
Ukraine's draft state budget for 2018 envisages the allocation of UAH 163 billion for the security and defense of the state, President Petro Poroshenko has said.
"In accordance with the proposals of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, it is planned to spend UAH 163 billion in 2018 on the needs of national security and defense. This is 20 billion [hryvnias] more than this year," the presidential press service quoted him as saying at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) on Wednesday, September 13.
Poroshenko recalled that the national security strategy foresees the annual budget financing of the defense and security sector at a level of at least 5% of GDP.
The NSDC also considered a package of issues that need to be resolved in the current and next year to ensure the proper financing and production of ammunition, precision, armored and aircraft weapons, as well as the import substitution of spare parts and components that were supplied from Russia.
The meeting participants also separately discussed the strengthening of the air defense system and aviation of the Air Force and spending on the intensive combat training of units and subdivisions of the Armed Forces and other military formations.
Poroshenko emphasized the importance of strengthening the motivation of those who are on the first and second lines of contact, in particular, by raising the cash payments depending on the degree of risk and complexity of tasks. According to him, Ukrainian servicemen staying on the first line get an additional payment of UAH 10,000 per month.
"We have no one on the first line who receives less than UAH 17,000. I am sure that now, when we launch the program of the modernization of the army with arms and technology, when we have to bring it to the level of the 21st century, we must ensure targeted financing of the state target program for the reform and development of the defense industrial sector and find the funds," he said.
Poroshenko also described as a priority the strengthening of the counterintelligence regime and the implementation of the national intelligence program.
As reported, the government approved a draft budget resolution on June 14, for the first time proposing to approve it for a three-year term - 2018-2020. The document envisages a reduction until 2020 of the state budget deficit to 2% of GDP and a drop in public debt to 55% of GDP.
On September 7, the Finance Ministry submitted the draft law on Ukraine's state budget for 2018 for consideration by the Cabinet of Ministers. According to Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk, the draft state budget for 2018 will be tabled in parliament by September 18. He said that for the first time the budget would be based on a three-year budget resolution.
NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said in late August that the defense budget for 2018 would be realistic, "i.e. each planned kopeck will see real spending."
"The distinctive feature of this budget is that its main funding will come from the general fund, which will amount to UAH 156.4 billion. The special fund will be formed exclusively on the basis of proposals of the law enforcement ministries and agencies and will amount to about UAH 6.3 billion. Thus, the total funding should be at least UAH 162.7 billion," he said.