Ukraine to spend half of next budget on defence
Ukraine lawmakers voted on Thursday to approve a 2024 government budget that will see half of all state spending go to defence, as Kyiv drives resources into the war effort.
Both Kyiv and Moscow have massively increased military spending since the war began, ramping up the production of weapons and ammunition as they prepare for a long and drawn out conflict.
According to Ukraine's finance ministry, almost 1.7 trillion hryvnia (about $47 billion) will be spent on defence, around the same amount as in 2023.
The figure is more than spending on education, social welfare and healthcare combined, and amounts to around half of the country's total $93 billion in planned outlays.
Ukraine has relied heavily on financial support from the International Monetary Fund and Western allies like the United States to keep its economy afloat during the war.
It said that it needed $41 billion in outside support to cover day-to-day spending next year, around the same amount the IMF predicted it needed in 2023.
"The priorities of the state budget are clear. Strengthening defence capability, protecting the population, supporting veterans, raising social standards and economic recovery," the finance ministry said.
"We will have more drones and our own weapons to win in a quick manner," it added.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an evening address Monday that budgetary resources would be allocated to achieving "victory".
"We all see people demanding that budget resources be allocated to help the defence rather than to paving and repairing streets," Zelensky said.
"This is the right thing to do. All resources should be used to make Ukraine stronger," he added.