21 Dec 2018 18:06

Ukraine to spend over 5% of GDP in 2019 on army, defense - Poroshenko

KYIV. Dec 21 (Interfax) - Ukraine's 2019 budget provides for over 102 billion hryvni for the Defense Ministry to enable purchase of new types of weapon, ammunition and military hardware for the army, President Petro Poroshenko said.

"For the army, next year, over102 billion hryvni are envisaged, which is 16 billion more than in the past [2018] year, providing the dollar rate is stable," Poroshenko said during a ceremony for delivery of military hardware by the State Concern Ukroboronprom to the Armed Forces in Ozerne (Zhytomyr region) on Friday.

The plan is to spend over 5% of GDP on the defense and security sector in 2019, he said.

The Ukrainian army finally has the money to buy new types of weapon of the Ukrainian design and make, such as the coastal defense system Neptune with anti-ship cruise missiles, the 155mm self-propelled artillery weapon system Bohdana on a 6 x 6 wheeled base, the reconnaissance attack system Sokol, and the high-precision guided artillery projectile Kvitnyk upgraded to NATO standards among others, Poroshenko said.

The development of arms and military hardware is to cost 16.97 billion hryvni, up 3.73% on 2018, he said.

Spending on re-arming the armed forces will account for 16.6% of the total defense budget, (19% in 2018).

The total defense budget in 2019 is estimated at 102.49 billion hryvni, of which 81.69 billion hryvni (79.7%) will be spent to support military activities.

According to the Finance Ministry, total defense and security spending, as envisioned in the national budget, will stand at 212 billion hryvni (5.4% of GDP), up 18.6% on 2018.