Ukraine’s spending on the development and procurement of weapons and military hardware in 2022 has been increased by UAH 67.57 billion with UK loans totaling 1.7 billion and aimed at bolstering capacities of the Ukrainian Navy.
The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada adopted the respective bill by 342 votes on Tuesday.
The bill enlarges this year’s budget expenditures from UAH 1,525.930 trillion to UAH 1,593.5 trillion with the special fund’s growth to UAH 221.11 billion.
Meanwhile, the budget deficit ceiling was raised from UAH 188.8 billion to UAH 256.36 billion, including UAH 96.1 billion for the special fund.
In addition, the budget no longer has restrictions at the amount of 3% of the planned revenue for the provision of state guarantees, as well as restrictions at the amount of UAH 10 billion and UAH 20 billion, respectively, for the provision of portfolio guarantees and loan guarantees, in order to increase the national defense capacity.
The bill limits road fund expenditures. “The money will be primarily spent on repaying the state debt, defense, and the development and maintenance of roads,” the Servant of the People faction said in comment on the bill.
An explanatory note says that Ukraine will be implementing state investment projects to purchase two minesweepers from British suppliers, to deliver and service these minesweepers, to ensure the joint construction of eight missile craft, and to deliver and install weapons on the available ships. It is also planned to jointly build a frigate and to receive advisory and technical support for the construction of naval infrastructure, including the delivery of equipment.
At the end of January, the Verkhovna Rada ratified a framework intergovernmental agreement on loan funding of the development of the Ukrainian Navy. The agreement was signed in London on November 12, 2021, to envisage allocations for the construction of eight missile craft, the procurement of two minesweepers from the UK, and the opening of two naval bases in Ukraine.
United States President Joseph Biden has ordered the allocation of financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $60 million from the Pentagon for defense, according to the White House website.
This is reported in the Memorandum signed by Biden on August 27.
“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby delegate to the Secretary of State the authority to direct the drawdown of up to $60 million in defense articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training, to provide assistance to Ukraine and to make the determinations required under such section to direct such a drawdown,” the president said in the memorandum.
The debut International Defense Investment Forum, dedicated to the search for new directions in the development of Ukraine’s defense industry, which featured about 20 investment projects, was held in Kyiv at the Sikorsky Challenge (National Technical University of Ukraine “Ihor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”) on Thursday.
“The authorities have an understanding of the existing problems and the need to take all measures aimed at improving the current investment climate in the country,” Deputy Prime Minister for Strategic Industries Oleh Urusky said, opening the forum.
He said that the recently adopted laws On Defense Procurement should remove excessive secrecy in the defense industry and ensure transparency of procurement and On the peculiarities of reforming the state-owned defense industry should facilitate the attraction of investment and private business in the sector, according to which on the basis of Ukroboronprom two holding companies will be created.
Urusky also said that the Ministry for Strategic Industries of Ukraine has developed a Strategy for the Development of Ukraine’s Defense Industry until 2030. According to him, given the nature of modern wars and conflicts, the main directions in the development and production of domestic weapons and military equipment were: automated control systems; rocket and space technology; high-precision means of destruction, ammunition and products of special chemistry; means of electronic warfare; unmanned platforms and shock robotics; “soldier of the future” equipment.
During the forum, which was attended by a delegation from the UAE led by the Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, about 20 investment projects were presented in three areas: high-precision weapons and ammunition; robotic equipment: air, ground and marine components; automation of control and communication system.
In particular, “Shock unmanned aerial vehicle complex with barrage ammunition ST-35 Thunder (LLC NPP Athlon Avia), Organization of lines for the production of large caliber cartridges 12.7×99; 12.7×108; 14,5х114 for small arms (LLC Stiletto Ukraine) and Unmanned robotic platforms Scorpion 2 and Dwarf scout (LLC Infocom).
Among other projects – “Universal robotic remote-controlled combat module/Project ACHILLES” (LLC Diamond Defense Systems), Light BPAK battlefield Yatagan-2 with a swarm function (LLC First Contact).
Defense Ministers of Ukraine and Iraq, Andriy Taran and Juma Inad Saadoun Al-Juburi, in Kyiv signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of military cooperation between the defense departments of the two countries.
“The signing of the Memorandum will provide an opportunity to continue mutually beneficial cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries, strengthen partnerships and ensure the implementation of projects in areas that are of mutually beneficial interest,” the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said.
As noted, on September 3, a delegation of the Iraqi Defense Ministry paid an official visit to Ukraine. This is the first visit of the head of the Iraqi Defense Ministry to Ukraine.
The defense ministers of Ukraine and Iraq held bilateral talks. The parties “emphasized the significant potential of partnership regarding the exchange of experience in the conduct of hostilities, cooperation in the area of military education.”
The draft national budget of Ukraine for 2020 provides for the allocation of UAH 245 billion for national security and defense, which makes up 5.4% of the gross domestic product of Ukraine, Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova has said. “In our spending, we focus on national security and defense. In this budget, UAH 245 billion is allocated for national security and defense. This is 5.4% of GDP. Expenses are allocated based on 2019 expenditures,” Markarova said, presenting the draft national budget in the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada.
“Please note that there appeared a separate budget program, in which additional funds are foreseen for the National Security and Defense Council, which will be distributed by second reading,” she added.
The draft national budget for 2020 foresees UAH 245.8 billion for national security and defense, including UAH 207.8 billion in expenses under the budget programs of the Ministry of Defense, UAH 10 billion in state guarantees, UAH 28 billion in additional expenses from the general fund according to the budget program of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) “Unallocated expenses on national security and defense,” which will be distributed separately by the decision of the NSDC.
Kyiv is interested in developing defense cooperation with Cairo and offers Egypt cooperation in modernizing its air defense system.
The press service of the Ukroboronprom state concern reported on Thursday that cooperation plans were discussed by Ukroboronprom Head Pavlo Bukin and Director for Production of the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP) of the Egypt’s Ministry of Military Production Hassan Ahmed Abdel-Mageed at the IDEX 2019 international defence exhibition held in Abu Dhabi (the UAE).
“In accordance with the agreement, the Ukrainian side will provide proposals for the modernization of anti-aircraft missile systems and other air defense systems used by the Egyptian Armed Forces. Comprehensive modernization may include a complete replacement of the outdated element base with modern solid-state elements: along with the modernization of anti-aircraft missiles, this will allow increasing the range of target detection and destruction by several times,” the concern said.
According to the press service, the prospects for cooperation in the ammunition sphere were also discussed at the meeting.
“Currently, the parties are considering a project to establish a joint production of precision and conventional ammunition for artillery systems of various calibers,” the concern said.