The draft state budget for next year proposes to increase spending on the defense and security sector of Ukraine to UAH 267 billion, marking the largest defense and security budget over the years of Ukraine's independence.
That's according to Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak.
In a Facebook post, the official noted that active discussions have been ongoing in Ukraine for the past week on the draft state budget submitted to the Verkhovna Rada.
"Officials have planned to increase spending on the defense and security sector. Plus almost UAH 21 billion. A total of UAH 267 billion is provided, which is the most over the years of independence," said the chief of the President's Office.
"A total of UAH 267 billion is provided, which is the highest figure over the years of independence," Yermak said.
According to Yermak, "although insignificant against the total amount of UAH 117 billion, the reduction of expenses for the Ministry of Defense by 0.11%, or UAH 127 million, is ethically questionable."
Intelligence agencies and SBU
"However, the rest of the indicators in the draft state budget are fully justified. Next year, more money will go for the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, and the Security Service. Border guards will receive 10.8% more [than last year]," Yermak said.
He noted that "it cannot be in the interests of Ukraine to call for cutting spending on this sector or part of it". "Intelligence agencies and the Security Service together with the Armed Forces ensure our independence, enabling diplomats to search for a path to peace," Yermak is convinced.
State Emergency Service
The head of the President's Office separately explained the increase in funding for the State Emergency Service.
Read also Finance ministry to cut Ukraine's budget deficit from 2022 "The draft state budget provides for an increase in expenses for the State Emergency Service. Floods and forest fires this year should have convinced all Ukrainian politicians, even the most avid populists, that they should not save on rescuers. But for some reason this arouses criticism, since the State Emergency Service is managed through the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and therefore it is convenient to manipulate on TV that this money also goes to the Ministry of Internal Affairs," he wrote, recalling large-scale forest fires near the demarcation line in Donbas.
"I'd like to urge all Ukrainian politicians not to go overboard with PR, discussing budget spending on defense and security. Try to find yourself some other topic, something not vital to the protection of statehood and peaceful life, to earn campaign points," Yermak summed up.
2021 Budget: main figures