Ukraine to maintain defense spending at 5 percent of GDP in 2019

Ukraine will maintain defense spending at about 5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) next year, a senior security official said Monday.

Ukraine to maintain defense spending at 5 percent of GDP in 2019
Ukrainian-made BTR-4MV1 8x8 Armoured Personnel Carrier APC (Picture source: Defense Blog)

In 2019, Ukraine's defense budget is expected to reach some 200 billion hryvnyas (about 7.18 billion U.S. dollars), Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said in a statement after a meeting on budget planning. Turchynov listed the development and the procurement of modern high-precision missile weapons, artillery armaments, armored vehicles and ammunition as among the key areas of defense financing next year.

The funds will be also used for strengthening the state's air defense system, cyber security and information security, Turchynov said. He added that the increase of the financial support for Ukrainian servicemen will also be an important part of the next year's defense budget.

After two decades of keeping its defense expenditures at below 1.5 percent of the GDP, Ukraine began to gradually boost its defense budget in 2014, when the conflict between government troops and pro-independence armed groups started in the country's eastern regions. While in 2013 the country's defense budget stood at 1.11 percent of the GDP, in 2016 it has reached 5 percent of the GDP and has been maintained at that level for three years.