Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has instructed Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov to convene a Council meeting on Wednesday on reforming the country's defense giant, Ukroboronprom.
"We have long planned a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine with an agenda of reforming Ukroboronprom and increasing transparency of its operations," Poroshenko said at a meeting of the Regional Development Council of Mykolayiv region, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
According to Poroshenko, government, parliamentary and public control over the defense sector should be expanded.
"This morning, I instructed Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov to prepare this meeting, tentatively to be scheduled on Wednesday, to hold consultations required with our foreign partners," the president added.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian investigative journalists on February 25 released a report claiming that Ihor Hladkovsky, the son of First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleh Hladkovsky, is involved in large-scale embezzlement of budget funds in the defense sector.
It is alleged that Hladkovsky Jr. and his partners conspired with defense officials to procure military spare parts from Russian smugglers, as well as from Ukrainian Army warehouses. Prices for spare parts, which journalists say often failed to meet quality standards, were hiked significantly. Then, the journalists reported, the perpetrators would sell these goods to defense plants in conspiracy with top managers of Ukroboronprom, Ukraine's state-owned Defense Concern.
The group allegedly earned from Ukroboronprom at least UAH 250 million in kickbacks.
The journalists consider Oleh Hladkovsky to be Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's ally set to informally "supervise" the country's defense industry.
On February 26, Poroshenko suspended Oleh Hladkovsky from office, pending a criminal investigation.
Today, March 4, Poroshenko signed a decree to dismiss Hladkovsky from the post of First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council.