Kiev is short of money and cannot raise salaries and pensions, “all resources are spent on arms procurement,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, said at a government session on February 28.
“At the moment, the country does not have resources for this, as all resources are spent on defense, security, army, tanks, weapons, and on strengthening the security line and building the state border," he said. Yatsenyuk said supplies are “the first priority” and account for 5.2% of GDP.
Ukraine is experiencing a heavy economic crisis after the military actions in Donbass. The Ukrainian authorities cut social spending amid depreciating domestic currency. The official exchange rate of hryvnia fell fourfold over the year and nearly halved over the last month.
Meanwhile, on February 24, following his visit to IDEX-2015 arms exposition in the UAE, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced he had signed a number of arms supply contracts. “In the course of the exposition, Ukraine made almost 20 contracts for arms supply,” the president told foreign reporters before leaving UAE. “Agreements have been signed on the provision of weaponry to Ukraine by European, U.S. and Middle Eastern companies,” the president explained.