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    Ukrainian servicemen marching before the Mother Motherland monument in Kiev, with a Ukrainian and European Union flag fluttering in the background.

    Ukraine to Maintain Military Spending

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    The Ukrainian government has no plans to reduce its military expenditures, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said during a cabinet meeting.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukraine does not intend to lower its military spending, the country's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Friday.

    "This year, through the efforts of the ministry of finance, we allocated nearly 100 billion hryvnia [$4.7 billion] to finance the defense ministry. We will not reduce the spending on financing the military department," Yatsenyuk said at a cabinet meeting.

    The Ukrainian armed forces account for some 5 percent of the country's budget.

    Despite a ceasefire agreement reached earlier this year, the conflict between government troops and independence militias in the country’s southeast Donbas region is now in its second year.

    The death toll in the conflict, with almost daily reports of shelling, has almost reached 7,000 since the hostilities broke out in mid-April 2014.

    The sixth and latest Ukrainian army draft concluded earlier this year, with a reported 60 percent rate of completion. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Peter Mehed told local media on Thursday that a further three mobilization waves may be introduced in the future.

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    military spending, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine
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