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 Comprehensive modernization may include a complete replacement of the outdated element base with modern solid-state elements: along with the modernization of anti-aircraft missiles, this will allow increasing the range of target detection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.
The Canadian defense sector is working on plans to develop defense cooperation with Ukraine, Conservative MP from Canada James Bezan has said in an interview with UATV. Bezan said that soon supplies of Canadian small arms could be started to Ukraine.
“Canada and Ukraine have signed one contract to supply sniper rifles. We are waiting for the signing of the permit to export the arms by the Canadian government,” he said. Bezan did not specify the participants and details of the mentioned arms contract, saying only that the forthcoming delivery of Canadian small arms to Ukraine is planned to be provided on a commercial basis within the special export license issued by the Canadian government.
According to the Canadian politician, the prospects for working in the defense market of Ukraine are currently being studied by a number of Canadian defense companies. “I know that there are other manufacturers who produce machine guns, light armored vehicles and other equipment, and study the potential of work with Ukrainian companies, Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Bezan said, recalling that for the time being there are no legislative restrictions in Canada on the supply of certain types of weapons to Ukraine.
As reported, in December 2017, the government of Canada amended the rules of arms exports, allowing the sale of small arms to Ukraine.