The Ukrainian Parliament presented its Draft National Budget for 2020. It includes more than UAH 245 billion (about $ 9.9 billion) for security and defense. The almost two times increase of the country’s military budget was announced at a briefing by Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova, UNN reported.
“We plan to allocate 245.8 billion for various branches, involved in security and defense,” she said. At the same time, the minister clarified that not all of this figure will be distributed to specific managers.
“These are the funds that should be redistributed by the National Security and Defense Council,” Markarova added.
“We are increasing the cost of labor and cash security,” the minister said. “An increase in security and defense is one of the biggest priorities.”
On September 15, the country’s Cabinet of Ministers introduced draft Law No. 2000 “On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2020” into the Verkhovna Rada. On the parliament’s website, its text or supporting documents have not yet been published.
UNIAN noted that the project is built on the current macro forecast with an exchange rate of 28.2 UAH per dollar and provides for revenues in the amount of 1.170 trillion UAH, expenses – 1.170 trillion UAH.
The draft budget of Ukraine for 2019 provided for about 101.4 billion UAH for the needs of the Ministry of Defense. The Cabinet of Ministers proposed directing 657 million UAH to the leadership and military management of the country’s armed forces.
On September 25th, the Trump Administration is set to unfreeze $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.
As Politico noted, the amount was frozen as US President Donald Trump requested an analysis on whether the allocation of aid was in line with US national interests. The money is intended for the purchase of military equipment and weapons, as well as for the provision of services that will improve the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ukrainian embassy in the United States said.
At the same time, Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources, reported that the Ukrainian government plans on requesting another loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This time worth $5 billion.
The increase in defense is clearly aimed at ramping up preparations for an agressive war. This goes directly in contrast with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s claims that Ukraine currently wishes for normalization of the situation in Eastern Ukraine.
If peace was the aim, why would so much investment be needed in defense, especially when the country clearly has no funds, judging by the rumors of yet another IMF loan?
Recent overviews and reports, furthermore show that despite the 35 for 35 prisoner swap, which was a “tectonic shift” and the “harvest ceasefire,” very little is being achieved towards peace.
The situation in eastern Ukraine remains dire, with continuous shelling and aggression, which is mostly initiated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Furthermore, the announced “disarmament” of the Nazi-infested “volunteer battalions” left them with half their weapons in place, and it became apparent that they weren’t withdrawn from the frontline as it was suggested earlier.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Ukraine’s Struggle In Disarming Its Nazi-Infested “Volunteer Battalions”
- Military Situation In Eastern Ukraine: August 9 – September 11, 2019 (Infographics)
- At Least 6 Pro-Kiev Troops Were Wounded In Recent Hostilities In Eastern Ukraine
- Russia And Ukraine Complete 35 For 35 Prisoner Swap