The state increases the defence budget every year and will continue to do so, because there is no alternative – it is necessary to increase the provision of the Armed Forces. However, as noted by the Vice Speaker of the parliament Oksana Syroyid during the hearings on a new law on national security and defence, the defence budget of Ukraine is a state secret. Nevertheless, she is convinced that very soon the time will come when we will have to explain how people’s money is spent on security and defence.
“Many understand that not all the money that the parliament allocates to the security and defence sector is spent properly. Meanwhile the anti-corruption investigations that are carried out in this sphere additionally confirm this. Therefore, when we talk about parliamentary control over the security and defence sector – which is a key requirement of the future national security law – we do not mean abstract seminars, stories, or discussions between parliamentarians and representatives of the General Staff or the Ministry of Defence.
Parliamentary control starts with the budget. The United States of America have their defence budget on 160 pages which describe all the specifications of the weapons and equipment that are purchased. I do realize that we are not yet ready to make a 160-page project, so let’s at least make a 20-page one instead of a 10-line table! We must show people what their money is spent on and how our defensive capacity is stepped up,” Oksana Syroyid states.
The Vice Speaker underscores that we have to view the future law on National Security not through the prism of the demands of international partners or the promises of the authorities, but from the point of view of our internal challenges and the need to survive in the conditions of war, in the first place.
“We must understand that as long as we have no detailed defence budget, the function of parliamentary control over the security and defence sector will not be fulfilled. And if it is not fulfilled, especially during the war, we can undermine both the legitimacy of the command and the defence capability of the army,” Oksana Syroyid sums up.