Updated at 22:23,21-06-2017

Defense ministry refuses to answer Euroradio about July 3 parade costs

Zmicier Lukashuk, Euroradio

Defense ministry refuses to answer Euroradio about July 3 parade costs
Photo: aif.by
The Ministry of Defense has replied to an official inquiry from Euroradio about the forthcoming military parade on July 3, 2017 in Minsk. In our inquiry, we asked how much the Independence Day parade would cost and what sources the funding would come from.

On June 15, Euroradio received the reply as follows:

“Financing of the activities associated with preparations and organization of the military parade to mark the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus (Republic's Day) on July 3 , 2017 is being allocated from the funds allocated to the Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces running costs in the national budget.”

The Defense Ministry chose not to reveal the exact figures of the cost, although it was exactly the purpose of the inquiry. They simply commented on the obvious: the money comes from the national budget. Remarkably, the public budget funds were initially allocated "to finance the activities associated with preparations and organizaton of the military parade" - not "Armed Forces running costs" as it is being stated now. It means that the money for the parade will taken from the funds initially allocated for the servicemen salaries, maintenance and repairs of military equipment, food rations, etc. The 2017 national budget has no specific budget line to finance a military parade.

Apart from "financing from the national budget", we only know from Defense Minister Andrei Raukou that up to 220 military vehicles will take part in the parade. We also know who will help the defense ministry to prepare the military vehicles for the parade: Minator-services, Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant. Paints will be provided by Lakafarba and Belchim.

It remains unclear how much it will all cost. At the same time, it is known that no tender for the provision of the aforementioned goods and services was announced.

Belarus President Aliaksandr Lukashenka recently ordered not to economize on the organization of the Independence Day military parade and make it "a massively spectacular event."