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Enough for one and a half brigades: Polish border blockade steals money assigned to Ukrainian army

Kseniya KapustynskaNews
Ukraine is losing important budget revenues due to the blockade of borders
Ukraine is losing important budget revenues due to the border blockade. Source: Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine

Due to the Polish border blockade, Ukraine will lose UAH 6.5 billion in customs revenues to the state budget in March. These funds are fully allocated to finance the country's security and defense. This amount would be enough to fully support 1.5 brigades.

This was announced by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Taxation, and Customs Policy Danylo Hetmantsev (Servant of the People faction). "UAH 6.5 billion. This is how much Ukraine will lose in customs revenues as a result of the border blockade in March. This is one and a half fully equipped brigades," said the MP.

Hetmantsev reports budget losses due to the blockade

He reminded that earlier budget losses amounted to about UAH 7 billion per month. Thus, the report of the Temporary Investigation Commission (TIC) of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine states that in February 2014, the budget lost UAH 7.7 billion due to the blockade.

"The decrease in customs payments in February 2024 is mainly due to the resumption of the blockade of roads to border crossing points by Polish protesters on February 9. The estimated shortfall in customs payments is UAH 7.7 billion," the document says.

The report explains that the main source of state budget revenues from customs payments is the value-added tax (VAT) on imported goods. This "imported" VAT is fully credited to the general fund of the state budget, i.e., it is fully allocated to ensure the state's defense capability.

Starting in 2024, the excise tax will also be fully transferred to the general fund of the state budget. In addition, the vast majority of duties also go to the general state budget.

"Thus, the blockade of the border negatively affects not only business activity, but also reduces the ability to finance Ukraine's defense due to a shortfall in customs payments," the analysis says. In other words, the blockade organized by Polish farmers undermines Ukraine's defense capabilities.

In early March, the total figures of Ukraine's losses from the border blockade were also announced. During the entire period of Polish protests, from November to December 2023, according to Ukraine's Ambassador to Poland Vasyl Zvarych, the country lost $500 million, or about UAH 19 billion, from the Polish border blockade.

This is a serious blow not only to the Ukrainian economy, but also to the country's defense, and therefore also threatens Poland's security, Zvarych said. This situation benefits only the aggressor country Russia, and therefore it is time for Polish farmers to stop succumbing to propaganda and finally unblock the border.

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