Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko stated his concerns over the 2007 draft national budget, which has been already passed in first reading, as it significantly cuts down financing of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Cabinet press office reported.

"According to calculations of the General Staff, if the proposed bill is adopted, only six battalions will be trained in Ukraine, other will only write abstracts and march ceremonial step," the Minister said, after having studied the bill in depth.

According to him, 8.1 bn. UAH (1.6 bn. USD) are supposed to be allocated for the army purposes in 2007. But of this sum only 6.9 bn. UAH (1.38 bn USD) are provided in the general fund, the rest of the money refer in the special fund, which has never been filled before.

As the Defense Minister reminded, the budgetary resolution provided for 2 percent of GDP for the army, that was 11.8 bn. UAH (2.36 bn. USD). The President's decree clearly set that, under the program of the Ukrainian Armed Forces development before 2011, 2 percent of GDP should be allocated to the army budget, Mr Hrytsenko stressed.


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