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Ukraine lacks $26 billion to carry on with military operation in southeast

July 21, 2014, 16:27 UTC+3 KIEV
The minister said that one third of the sum at the issue could be obtained by cutting spending on administrative bodies
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© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

KIEV, July 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian finance minister announced on Monday that the country lacks $26 billion to continue with the military operation in the Ukrainian southeastern regions and provide assistance to forced migrants.

Finance Minister Alexander Shlapak said he proposed lawmakers from Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, to review budget for this year in order to find additional revenues.

“We have no means to continue financing of programs in support of the military operation and assistance to migrants from eastern parts and Crimea,” Shlapak said.

Infographics Who fights in Ukraine Who fights in Ukraine
The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
The minister said that one third of the sum at the issue could be obtained by cutting spending on administrative bodies.

Shlapak also said that in his opinion the country’s GDP fall by the end of this year could reach the figure of 6%.

Earlier in the day, the minister said Ukraine needed 9.1 billion hryvnias (about $800 million) in defense spending until the end of this year.

The Ukrainian Finance Ministry announced last week that Ukraine had prepared a revised budget for 2014 to cut state spending by $3.4 billion.

The budget sequester, which is still the subject for consideration by the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, comes at a time when the country’s economy continues to deteriorate and the Ukrainian army is involved in a military operation in the country’s southeast to bring the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions back under Kiev’s control.

Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are currently involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces continue conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 wounded in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.

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