The Verkhovna Rada has adopted a bill on the purchase of products, works and services for defence purposes in the first reading.
Samopomich deputy Taras Pastukh explains, “The bill can help partially solve the problems we have been talking about for the last 4 years. First of all, this is the disarmament of our country and the sale of our military equipment through Ukrspetsexport (state-owned arms trading company) covered as a state secret. And we feel the consequences of this today when we have nothing to defend our country with. And the second problem is the expansion of corruption, when contracts are marked as “classified information” and then the Ministry of Defence receives thousands of dollars for a sold tank, while intermediary enterprises receive millions of taxpayers’ money.”
The adopted bill is only a small step towards the elimination of corruption in the procurement of defence products. It cannot eliminate corruption altogether, says Taras Pastukh. “Today we are taking away the right to special export and special import from “Oboronprom” and are making the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of this. As a matter of fact, this may give rise to the scheme where privileged enterprises will receive a monopoly on the conclusion of such contracts. This is a wrong approach, and Ukrainian arms manufacturers together with foreign partners are stressing the need for full liberalization of this market, but under state control.”
And the corresponding bill was drafted and registered in the parliament by the Samopomich faction together with colleagues from other factions.
Taras Pastukh hopes that this parliament will be able to support and implement it.
“I hope that the Committee on National Security and Defence will be able to improve the document and will really enable the Ministry of Defence to purchase the equipment that is urgently needed today for our fighters on the front line directly, and not through intermediaries.”