Ukraine to significantly increase defense and national security expenditures

In accordance with the proposals of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, in 2018, Ukraine will allocate 163 billion hryvnia ($6.2 billion) for national security and defense needs, which is 20 billion hryvnia ($767 million) more than was allocated this year. This was announced on September 13 during a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine led by President Petro Poroshenko, the presidential press service reported.

Poroshenko noted that despite the aggression against Ukraine, the 2017 military budget increased many times compared to 2013. "We are able to deter the Russian aggressor, who has the strongest army on the continent, five times bigger than ours, and whose military budget in certain years exceeded ours 16 times," Poroshenko said.

"If you compare the expenditure in hryvnia of the state budget on defense in 2017 and 2013 you will see a significant increase. But if you look at the dollar equivalents, they will be almost the same. But look at how much we have done with this money during these three years, which indicates that every kopeck from the budget was spent effectively," the President said.

He stressed the importance and effectiveness of anti-corruption activities and the introduction of transparent and effective financing mechanisms in the security and defense sector, which made it possible to rationally use the available financial resources and to strictly control spending with a clear definition of the long-term needs of the army and other defense agencies.

The President recalled that the National Security Strategy provides for the annual financing of the defense and security sector in the amount of at least five percent of the gross domestic product.

The NSDC (National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine) also considered a number of issues that will require solutions either this year or next year, with regard to proper financing and production of ammunition, high precision weapons, armored vehicles and aircraft armament, as well as substitution with imports of spare parts and components supplied from the Russian Federation.

Separately, they also considered the issue of strengthening air defense and the Air Force as well as increasing financing for conducting intensive combat training of units and divisions of the Armed Forces and other military formations.
The President stressed the importance of strengthening the motivation of those who are on the first and second lines of defense by raising the payments depending on the degree of risk and complexity of tasks.

The President noted that presently, the Ukrainian soldier on the first line of contact receives an additional payment of ten thousand hryvnia ($383). "We have no one on the first line that would get less than 17 thousand hryvnia ($652)," he noted.
"I am sure that now, when we begin the program of the technical modernization of the army, when we must raise it to the level of the 21st century, we must ensure targeted financing of the State Target Program for reforming and developing the defense industry, and find resources for it," Poroshenko stressed.

He also named as one of the priorities the strengthening of counter-intelligence and the implementation of the National Intelligence Program.

It was also noted that during the meeting the President introduced the new Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, Yehor Bozhok to the NSDC.

  Ukraine, defense sector, Armed Forces of Ukraine