The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) should oversee the purchasing of components for military equipment from Russia in order to reduce the level of corruption, said Anna Kovalenko, a Ukrainian MP from the Servant of the People party.
“To this day, there is a large quantity of equipment produced in Russia in the armament of our armed forces. The state budget is not yet able to replace it with western models – it’s expensive. We should support the combat readiness of this armament. In this regard, there are two routes. The first is import substitution, which is possible when there are a lot of these units, when it is economically justified. The second is importing from Russia, when there are only a few units and substitution is unfavorable. First and foremost, this concerns military aviation equipment that is serially produced in Russia. For the second scenario, we need the intelligence agency too, since we need to obtain these components at any cost,” said Kovalenko.
The MP believes that the process will be managed in an accountable manner if it is overseen by the SBU.
In February, journalists from Bihus.info exposed a large-scale embezzlement scheme in Ukraine’s defense industry, and implicated several of former president Petro Poroshenko’s close associates.
According to the investigation, since 2016, several senior officials had been selling spare parts from Russia to Ukrainian defense enterprises with a 300% profit markup. Ihor Hladkovskiy, son of former National Security and Defense Council first vice secretary Oleh Hladkovskiy, Ihor’s friend and business partner Vitaliy Zhukov, and Andriy Rogoza were implicated in the scheme. They smuggled the goods in from Russia or bought them from military depots in Ukraine. The top management of UkrOboronProm, the state-owned defense industry conglomerate, were aware of the fraudulent schemes and gave their consent to them.