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Ukraine to Keep Spending at Least 5% of GDP on Defense in 2018

© AP Photo / Sergei ChuzavkovWorkers in a tank factory are assembling the armored vehicles in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015
Workers in a tank factory are assembling the armored vehicles in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 - Sputnik International
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In its aspiration to join NATO, Ukraine plans to keep defense expeditures of at least 5% of its GDP.

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.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis (R) and Ukraine's Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak attend a welcoming ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine August 24, 2017 - Sputnik International
Ukraine Expects to Receive Defense Arms From Foreign States

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.

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