Ukraine's parliament approves law to increase size of country's armed forces by a third

Defence & Security News - Ukraine
Ukraine's parliament approves law to increase size of country's armed forces by a third
Ukraine's parliament passed a law on Thursday to increase the size of the armed forces by a third as Kiev fights pro-Russian separatists in the east, reports today Reuters. The bill was approved with 270 votes in favor, well above the 226 required, and now goes to President Petro Poroshenko, who proposed the measure, to be signed into law.
Ukraine parliament approves law to increase size of country s armed forces by a third 640 001According to the bill approved yesterday, Ukrainian armed forces will be lifted from 184,000 to 250,000
The bill, initially proposed by President Petro Poroshenko, was approved by parliament with 270 out of 422 MPs voting in favour. 28 seats of Ukraine’s 450-seat parliament sit vacant because of the conflict with Russia preventing elections in constituencies in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea.

The bill will now see the legal ceiling on the size of Ukraine’s armed forces lifted from 184,000 to 250,000. This number will allow for 204,000 soldiers and over 40,000 additional personnel to join if called-up.

The law will now be submitted to the Ministry of Defence, who will negotiate the extended share of the national budget required to implement the law. Once given back to be signed by the president the law will come into effect immediately.

Poroshenko’s political partner and current prime minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk highlighted the building of a military strong enough to repel the Kremlin-backed rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk as the top priority for his government, shortly after being elected last autumn.

In December Yatsenyuk estimated that Ukraine’s military defence budget would exceed $3 billion in 2015, adding that five percent of GDP would go into military and defence spending.

(Sources: Newsweek and Reuters)