NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov / Photo from UNIAN

Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), chaired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on February 18 approved the state defense order (SDO) for 2020 in the amount of UAH 25.848 billion, or US$1.058 billion.

Based on the results of the consideration of the issue, the Cabinet of Ministers was tasked with finalizing the document with due regard to proposals aimed at boosting the combat capabilities of the country's armed forces and the development of deterrence forces, the NSDC press service said.

"Under the approved document, UAH 25.848 billion in funding will be provided in 2020 for the implementation of the SDO, which is 16% more than is 2019. Fourteen state customers will participate in the implementation of the SDO," it said.

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Among other things, the government was tasked with submitting draft laws to parliament to create favorable conditions for inviting foreign investment to the defense industry, as well as for ensuring financial stabilization and support of its enterprises.

"The state defense order provides for further development and procurement under major projects for developing missile weapons. The government was also instructed to provide full funding, without reducing the relevant state budget expenditures or redistribution to other needs, and to amend a number of national targeted defense-industrial programs in terms of their extension," it said. "The decision also contains orders for other ministries, agencies and government defense procurers."

Joint efforts by the Ukrainian president, the parliament and the government made it possible to increase financial resources for defense and security of the state to UAH 245.8 billion (US$10.06 billion), which is almost by UAH 30 billion (US$1.23 billion) more than in 2019.

"The military sector will also have an additional state-guaranteed financial resource of UAH 10 billion (US$409 million) for the implementation of programs related to the enhancement of the state's defense capability and security. This is the first time that our military are going to receive such an amount of state guarantees," it said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, speaking after a NSDC meeting on February 18, NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov denied allegations that the new defense order did not provide for the financing of missile programs.