15:20 23.01.2023

Reznikov denies info about purchase of food for Armed Forces at inflated prices

4 min read
Reznikov denies info about purchase of food for Armed Forces at inflated prices

 Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov denied information about the purchase of food for the Ukrainian army at inflated prices, calling the most obvious purpose of the “false story” an attempt to undermine confidence in the Ministry of Defense on the eve of Ramstein 8.

“The Ministry of Defense has not purchased ‘eggs at UAH 17 apiece’ and does not plan to. I want to draw attention to the chronology of events. At the end of December 2022, the Ministry of Defense signed contracts for the provision of catering services with suppliers. Following the conclusion of contracts, my profile deputy held a meeting at which he heard the head of the relevant department,” he wrote on Facebook.

According to the minister, the company's mistake with the conversion of pieces into kilograms has been noticed for a long time, as well as some technical errors in other contracts.

“After that, the head of the unit was suspended. I emphasize – at the end of December,” Reznikov said.

The head of the department also said that at a meeting of the relevant committee of the parliament he would demonstrate to the deputies an official letter from the supplier company acknowledging the mistake and asking for appropriate changes.

Reznikov said that he guarantees absolute transparency of the Ministry of Defense for law enforcement officers, and also that at his request, chairman of the Committee, Oleksandr Zavitnevych, invited representatives of the NABU and the SBI to the meeting.

“I will also propose to the deputies to consider the possibility of creating a temporary investigative commission on the procurement process if other parliamentary control tools are deemed insufficient. This will create an additional burden on the Ministry of Defense, but we are ready to do it,” the minister wrote.

He stressed that additional internal inspections are being completed for all contracts, military units are being checked with the catalog, technical errors are being corrected, additional supply agreements are being prepared.

“That is, the de jure document published in the media does not yet exist. No penny has been spent on it. Statements that the Ministry of Defense ‘stole’ or ‘tried to steal’ billions are complete nonsense. It's just that someone found out about additional checks and decided to launch an information attack,” he said.

The minister also noted that the public stuffing of information about prices allegedly inflated by 2-3 times began in the middle of last week, before Ramstein 8, when the agreements were clarified.

“The one who handed over one of the contracts and applications for publication, at least committed an official crime. This person will be definitely identified and brought to justice. For this purpose, materials have been prepared in the SBU. In particular, the motives will be clarified,” Reznikov said.

In addition, he noted that when MPs look at contracts with eight suppliers, they will see that the prices for the same products are different.

“Just as prices differ in retail chains, in the same Silpo, ATB or Novus. It's just that everyone has their own specialization. The actual production of any group of products or exclusive conditions with manufacturers. Therefore, somewhere meat is cheaper, and somewhere - fish, vegetables or milk,” the minister explained.

The prices of products are analyzed by special expert institutions, in particular, the Institute of Forensic Examinations named after Bokarius of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, which determine the range.

“For example, a range of UAH 7 to UAH 36 per kilogram is set for potatoes, since they come in different varieties. It is also one of the products for which there are significant seasonal price fluctuations,” he added.

In 2023, the cost of catering services for one fighter per day is UAH 145.8. Last year, this amount was UAH 120 per soldier per day, the minister said.

On January 21, the Ministry of Defense published a statement in which they called manipulative information about the purchase of food at inflated prices, reported on the inspection.

Earlier in the publication ZN.UA reported that under the agreement of the Ministry of Defense for catering services in 2023, military units stationed in Poltava, Sumy, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv and Cherkasy regions, in a deal for UAH 13.16 billion, there was an overestimation of purchase prices by 2-3 times.