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 Authorities approved decent defense and security budget despite crisis, - Butusov. DOCUMENT

Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov believes that given the current economic crisis, authorities have approved a decent defense and security budget for 2016.

He shared his thoughts on Facebook.

"These are the funds allocated within the 2016 budget for maintaining all defense and security bodies in Ukraine, excluding law enforcement and fiscal authorities (Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Police, State Fiscal Service).

бюджет

"UAH 83.52 billion (more than $3.2 billion). Big money.

"In 2016, the defense and security sector is really in priority," Butusov wrote.

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"Of course, we should mind possible inflation. But in 2015, additional budget revenues received from taxes were given to the Ministry of Defense - the military additionally received about UAH 9 billion (approx $348.731 million) in total. That is, inflationary losses were taken into account and compensated.

"So it could be assumed that in the current year, additional revenues will be spent on security, which will offset possible inflationary risks.

"Defense and security spending in 2016 has been increased by 25 percent or UAH 22.62 billion (approx $876.479 million).

"The Defense Ministry will enjoy the biggest increase totaling UAH 15.23 billion (approx $590.131 million). This allows significant raising of wages of contract soldiers and officers," the journalist says.

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He emphasizes: "In contrast to previous year, the spending on virtually all defense and security components has increased. The costs of the State Space Agency have increased from UAH 1.88 to 3.39 billion (approx $131.355 million). This is due to the implementation of defense programs by the agency's enterprises.

"The financing of the State Guard Department has been increased for the first time in three years. For three consecutive years they had only UAH 0.31 billion, while this year the amount is increased to UAH 0.6 billion (approx $23.248 million).

"The State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection will receive twice as much as before - UAH 1.5 billion (approx $58.121 million). This is due to the modernization of government communications.

"The State Border Guard Service will receive a billion more compared to the previous year. The same is true about the SBU.

"The financing of the National Guard has been increased by UAH 2 billion.

"The intelligence will also enjoy bigger funds. The Defense Intelligence will now get UAH 1.10 billion (approx $42.622 million) compared to the previous amount of UAH 0.76 billion.

"The Foreign Intelligence Service will see the increase from UAH 0.64 to 0.95 billion (approx $36.810 million)."

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"The State Special Transport Service, which is still part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and should have long been included in the Ministry of Defense for the sake of optimization, will receive UAH 0.45 billion (approx $17.436 million) compared to the previous amount of UAH 0.3 billion.

"The main problem is that taxpayers do not have any criterion for evaluating their spending on defense and security. We still have that old-fashioned financing of expense items without any details.

"None of the mentioned agencies has developed any short or long term strategy program. Accordingly, no rearmament programs are ready. This is the key problem of the modernization of defense and security agencies," Butusov remarks.

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He stresses: "It would be more efficient for taxpayers to finance specific development programs on threats, strategy, tactics, staffing, training, weaponry, maintenance, social benefits, where everything is in line with budget, has concrete deadlines, and brings the expected results.

"For example, only now, after the adoption of the budget, Ukraine's state defense order is being developed and approved."

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Butusov adds: "I hope that 2015 was the last year when the parliament blindly voted for increasing spending on expense items rather than concrete programs.

"Given the defense spending as a whole, it must be said that Ukraine needs an urgent military reform to reinforce its defense.

"Modern weapons cost way bigger money. The MoD has only UAH 8 billion for purchasing new weapons. That's about $300 million. Weapons are expensive, and rearmament budget requires much more funds."

"Budget revenues should be drastically increased in order for it to ensure a sustainable development. In the modern world, only economically developed countries can afford decent military potential, where economic reforms are the basis of all others, including those in defense and security," the journalist summed up.

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