MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti)
Ukraine’s 2012 military spending will increase by around 30 percent, to about $2 billion or 1.1 percent of GDP, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s financial department said on Wednesday.
The ministry expects to spend about $120 million for purchases and modernization of military equipment, as well as scientific and military design projects, including the production of L-39 Albatros jet trainers and MiG-29 fighter jets. Ukraine’s existing fleet of MiG-29, L-39 and Su-25 close air support aircrafts will also be modernized.
Head of Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Financial Department Lt. Gen. Yvan Marko said 21 jets, five helicopters and 612 vehicles will be repaired and modernized this year.
Ukraine’s 2012 state defense order will stand at $184 million, four times more than last year, including $54 million to build a corvette-class ship and $13 million for the construction of the Sapsan multifunctional missile system.
Ukraine’s military budget amounted to 0.8 percent of GDP on average over the past few years, substantially less than the average 1.3 percent of other Eastern European states.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.