Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak presented the 2015 military budget in the Verkhovna Rada on Friday, December 12, requesting UAH 50 billion — more than three times the current budget, reports BBC Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense is proposing a budget of UAH 50bn for 2015, Stepan Poltorak said during his appearance at the Verkhovna Rada. He explained that the guaranteed budget for 2014 was UAH 15bn and that 11bn was taken from the reserve fund. Additionally, he said the Ministry of Defense plans to significantly increase the size of the army to 250,000.
According to Poltorak, next year the ministry wants to create new divisions and units, special operations forces, and four operational commands with territorial administrative control.
Poltorak also reported on plans to relocate military units from the western to the eastern borders of Ukraine since that is where the danger to the country lies. “We redeployed the naval fleet from Crimea, so we plan to spend on their relocation and settlement,” he said.
New weapons and enlarged army
Additionally, Poltorak said the ministry plans to spend UAH 7.45bn on new weapons — UAH 5.7bn going to domestic manufacturers and 1.74bn for imported equipment. Almost UAH 2bn is allocated for modern communications and the creation of specialized military units. Total personnel costs are estimated at UAH 15bn, with 2.8bn for base salaries and 1.56bn for food.
The size of the army will increase significantly, with plans calling for the addition of 40,000 enlisted personnel and 10,500 contract military.
“Army numbers have increased. Right now they are at 232,000 military as compared to 130,000 last year. They will increase to 250,00 people,” he said.
Adapted from article in BBC Ukraine.