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Government approves half of 2024 budget to be spent on defense, security

by Dinara Khalilova September 16, 2023 12:23 AM 3 min read
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv on Aug. 14, 2023. (Photo by Thomas Imo via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian government has approved the draft budget for 2024 with the deficit set at over Hr 1.54 trillion ($40 billion), Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reported on Sept. 15.

The draft budget's expenditures on security and defense amount to around $45.6 billion, which is $3 billion more than this year and constitutes over half of all funds allocated for 2024, according to Shmyhal. The total amount of state budget expenditures planned for next year is Hr 3.1 trillion ($84 billion).

"There will be even more weapons and equipment. More drones, ammunition, missiles. Just like this year, every penny of citizens' and businesses' taxes will go to support our Security and Defense Forces," the PM said on Telegram.

Defense and security expenses are followed by expenditures on social payments, medicine and education, and support for war veterans, reads the report. The draft budget is yet to be approved by the Ukrainian parliament.

Another budget priority for 2024 is the recovery of Ukraine's economy, Shmyhal added.

"No increase in taxes is foreseen. The government continues the preferential lending programs, the program of non-refundable grants, and support for Ukrainian startups. We are also launching new support programs for industrial parks, investment projects, and Ukrainian manufacturers."

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Ukraine will need $10-15 billion only for the short-term recovery in 2024, the prime minister said on the same day at a press conference. Kyiv hasn't laid down funding for the Recovery Fund from the state budget for next year as it expects to receive assistance from partners, Shmyhal told reporters.

However, the official emphasized that the primary funding source for Ukraine's reconstruction should be confiscated Russian assets.

"We have made progress in negotiations with the United States, Canada, and the European Union regarding such a mechanism for obtaining (confiscated) Russian funds," Shmyhal added.

"There are discussions on how to confiscate. Regarding the oligarchs, no one has any doubts … as for sovereign assets, the discussion is difficult so far. We want all these assets to be confiscated for the benefit of Ukraine."

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