Efrem Lukatsky Associate Press “We all see people calling for budgetary resources to be allocated to defense rather than paving and repairing streets. “It’s the right thing to do,” President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded on Monday. In the photo, soldiers of the 1st Brigade of the Ukrainian National Guard (Bureviy) take part in training on Wednesday.
Almost half of budget spending in Ukraine will be devoted in 2024 to defense and security, according to the bill voted on Thursday by Parliament, after almost two years of Russian invasion which devastated the economy of the country.
“Almost 50% of our spending goes to the defense and security of Ukraine: there will be even more weapons and equipment, more drones, ammunition, missiles,” said the first Minister Denis Chmygal following the vote.
“All our internal resources will be used to resist and defeat the enemy,” he promised in a message published on Telegram.
Thus, defense and security spending next year will reach nearly 1,700 billion hryvnias (nearly 65,000 billion Canadian dollars), or 22.1% of GDP, according to the Ministry of Finance, a figure higher than the reserved budget to education, health and social benefits.
“We all see people calling for budgetary resources to be allocated to defense rather than paving and repairing streets. It's the right thing to do. All resources should be used to strengthen Ukraine,” President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded on Monday.
“The priorities of the state budget are clear: strengthening defense capacity, protecting the population, supporting veterans, improving social standards and economic recovery,” Ukraine's Finance Minister Sergii stressed on Thursday Marchenko, in a speech to Parliament.
Thursday's vote comes at a time when Kiev fears that weariness will gradually win over its allies and that their support, financial and military, will diminish after the failure of its counter-offensive launched in June.
Ukraine has indicated that it will need US$41 billion in external financing next year from its allies and international organizations to operate its economy.
This figure is stable compared to 2023 (US$42 billion, more than CA$56 billion), in line with estimates made by the International Monetary Fund for the current year (between 40 and 48 billion US$).
According to the voted budget, GDP is expected to increase by 4.6% in 2024, with inflation at 9.7%, down sharply compared to January 2023 (+26% year-on-year).