Ukraine’s annual defense spending is set to rise by 26 percent in 2018, to Hr 163.2 billion ($6.26 billion), National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksander Turchynov said on Sept. 13.
Spending this year was set at Hr 129 billion ($4.9 billion).
The increase will ensure that Ukraine’s defense spending remains at a level well over 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, and more than double the 2 percent of GDP benchmark required of NATO countries.
“Financial provision for the country’s defense and security remains one of the top priorities of budget policy for 2018,” the council’s website quotes Turchynov as saying.
Payments to servicemen are to be increased, and additional funds will be allocated to producing precision-guided missiles and artillery systems, armored vehicles, and high accuracy weapons, Turchynov said.
Moreover, the budgets for combat training of the Armed Forces and increasing the security of the state border will be increased, he said.
“And considering the security situation, fulfilling state policies in cyber defense … and the development and modernization of special communications and data protection will be among the top priorities,” Turchynov said.
He also said the National Security and Defense Council had approved plans for Ukraine’s counter-intelligence activities, and for government during a state of emergency or a so-called “special period.”
According to Law on Ukraine’s Defense, a “special period” starts just after martial law or a military mobilization is declared. During this period, the nation’s economy and state management shift to wartime footing, and the army is ordered to assume combat readiness.
A special period has been in force in Ukraine since March 2014, when the first round of military mobilization was declared shortly after Russia seized the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, although a state of war with Russia has never been declared.
However, for the first time in Ukraine’s history, the council on Sept. 13 discussed the issue of establishing a Supreme High Command General Headquarters, Turchynov said.
He said the headquarters would be placed in overall command of Ukraine’s armed forces, other military formations, and law enforcement agencies during the special period.
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