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KIEV, September 13. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has suggested next year’s defense spending should be equivalent to 5% of the GDP.
"Later in the day the National Security and Defense Council will meet in session to consider the state budget. I will suggest setting next year’s defense spending at 5% of the GDP and approving a defense budget of 129 billion hryvnias (about $5 billion)," he said during a working trip to Dnepr (Dnepropetrovsk).
Poroshenko has also pointed out that Ukraine would receive the next tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on September 14.
"Tomorrow, September 14, we will receive the next $1 bln tranche from the International Monetary Fund, which will create a solid foundation for our reforms," he said.
The IMF in March 2015 approved of a four-year $17.5-billion loan program for the Ukraine instead of the previous two-year program of 2014, which remained unaccomplished.
Under the new arrangement Kiev received an initial $5 billion and then another $1.7 billion in August following the first review. The second review remains incomplete because some of the previously agreed conditions have not been met yet.
Representative of the National Bank of Ukraine Oleg Churiy said earlier that the country expects $1 bln from the IMF after the meeting and another $1.3 bln later.
In his annual message to parliament on September 6 Poroshenko said that Ukraine would be able to spend on defense no more than 3% of the GDP next year. In his statement today he did not explain why he had decided to propose larger defense spending.
At the same time the Ukrainian parliament said that its national security and defense committee had considered the Cabinet of Ministers’ draft budget resolution and came out with a number of proposals for planning the state budget’s security and defense spending, in particular, an increase in defense spending to 5% of the GDP.
"Among other things the legislators proposed next year’s security and defense spending in an amount of no smaller than 5% of the GDP, including defense spending of no less than 3% of the GDP and investment into the development of the defense-industrial complex of 0.5% of the GDP," the parliament’s secretariat said.