KIEV (Sputnik) – Ukraine intends to keep its 2018 defense spending on the level of at least 5 percent of its GDP, the defense budget will be approved in early September, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said Wednesday.
According to the council's press service, Turchynov said that the composition of the budget takes place accordingly to Ukraine's national security strategy "and will stand at no less than 5 percent of the gross domestic product."
"This stance is becoming an axiom for our country's budget policy," the Ukrainian official said.
In July, Poroshenko signed a bill approved by the parliament on June 8, securing the country's aspiration to join NATO as Kiev's foreign policy priority.
On Saturday, US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said that US Secretary of Defense James Mattis had brought defensive equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces when he visited Kiev on August 23-24. During the visit, Mattis noted that the United States has provided Ukraine with $750 million in military assistance in past years.
Nevertheless, he noted that Ukraine was not ready to join NATO yet.