Therefore - as a minister and as a lawyer - I will provide detailed comments on providing the army with food. Comprehensive information with documents will personally be presented to the People's Deputies at a meeting of the profile committee with the participation of representatives of NABU, DBR and the SBU. In the part that can be published, I want to inform everyone what position the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has, and what is the logic of our actions.
Since I consider control by parliament and society an integral part of democracy that distinguishes Ukraine from our enemy. First. Tens of billions of hryvnias will be sent to ensure the food of servicemen in 2023. This is a big market. More than a year ago, this market was actually under the control of monopoly. During my appointment, I took a public obligation to demonopolize food services. And the team and I did it last winter. Although the resistance was terrible.
Last year, the monopolist threatened to completely block food supply to the army. It didn't work out. Overcoming the monopoly allowed to successfully organize the nutrition of the army, the number of which has increased several times, despite all the difficulties of the active phase of war. The inadmissibility of monopolies is my philosophy. After all, monopoly is dependence and vulnerability. Even the best supplier may have force majeure.
Or, when it comes to business, it can be indirectly purchased or blocked by an enemy. Therefore, monopolies in defense should be avoided. At the moment, the Defense Ministry has concluded contracts with eight suppliers to provide food services. I will demonstrate these contracts to the People's Deputies. For each of the suppliers, a certain number of military units are fixed under the contract.
The contracts state the norm: if one of the suppliers is not capable of fulfilling the obligation, then others "pick up" military units according to a specified algorithm. The supply of food everywhere will be guaranteed continuous, which would not happen. I want to emphasize separately. The provision of food services is carried out on the principle of "food goes to the military".
If the permanent location of our paratroopers, for example, in Lviv or Zhytomyr, or if the 128 mountain-assault brigade has a point Service of units of a certain part. Regardless of the number of locations and the number of people in them. These are the risks that the business goes when contracting. These are special logistics requirements. That is, in Ukraine there are no "rear" or "far from the line of collision" of the regions in terms of nutrition of servicemen.
The one who states the opposite is deliberately deceived. Second. I emphasize the word "services". The Ministry of Defense does not purchase individual products. The Defense Office buys a comprehensive food provision. That is, the delivery of a certain set of products to military units, and in some cases - cooking. The subject of purchase is the cost of a daily diet for a serviceman. This diet has clear criteria for calories and other parameters. Suppliers guarantee a daily diet for a certain amount.
Last year, this amount amounted to 120 UAH per serviceman per day. This year we received suppliers in the range from 151 to 162 UAH per day. As a result of the negotiations, the final cost of a food service for one fighter per day is 145. 8 UAH. Someone really thinks that amount is overstated? The cost of the service was nominally by 21. 5%. But this figure is even lower than the inflation rate, which was 26. 6%per year.
Any housewife knows how the prices for different types of products increased last year and what was the dynamics. The peculiarity of the Ministry of Defense contracts is that they are concluded with the providers of services for a year at a fixed price. That is also the risks that business takes on. Third. The process of contracting and making obligations consists of several stages.
Announcement of the needs of the Ministry of Defense, providing proposals with business, conducting external examination of prices, agreeing the contract, conducting internal verification, signing the contract. The final part of this process is the registration of the signed contract in the State Treasury. Only after registration in the Treasury does financial obligations arise and payments can be made. Fourth. Prices.
Since 2016, military personnel have been eating on the basis of a catalog of products with more than 400 positions. Officials of military units (in the first) on the basis of the diet are selected from the catalog products that the supplier must provide. When MPs look at contracts with eight suppliers, they will see that prices for the same products are different. Similarly, prices in retail networks, in the same Silpo, ATB or Nolov. Just everyone has their own specialization.
Actually production of a group of goods, or exclusive conditions with producers. Therefore, meat is cheaper somewhere, and somewhere - fish, vegetables or milk. Product prices are analyzed by special expert institutions, in particular, the Institute of Forensic Expertise. The exile. Prof. MS Bokarius of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. They determine a certain range. For example, potatoes have a range from 7 to 36 UAH per kilogram, as it is of different varieties.
It is also one of the products that have significant seasonal price fluctuations. The media now has a huge amount of distorted prices. It was the Mirror of the Week that was one and a half days after the publication (journalist Yuri Nikolav. Unfortunately, it did it without explanation. Understanding incorrectness in other positions will also come. After all, comprehensive things are compared. Bank prices or a bottle of packaged products at a price per kilogram.
Prices for a liter with a price per kilogram. Net weight prices with gross weight and more. Even analyzing the numbers of publication in the mirror of the week, many noted that prices for a large number of goods are lower than in a nearby store. Despite all the risks to business. The fact that the publication was calculated as 0. 2% of the cost of the contract is to cook a supplier in several military units, where external contractors are prepared for various reasons.
And not at all delivery of products. This is another rude mistake that misleads. I would also like to point out that a year ago, having analyzed the work of the food system under the catalog introduced in 2016, we came to the conclusion that a more effective solution would be to provide food through the purchase of the menu. 52 week menu per year. Every warrior will understand what he should get and when. In the fall, we started an audit of a food system that confirmed the relevance of the change.
But this transition requires large -scale preparatory work. After all, it is about restructuring a huge mechanism. We will definitely do it. Now with regard to a particular episode. Fifth. I will explain on the eggs. When MPs compare chicken eggs in contracts with different suppliers, they will see that seven suppliers price ranges from 80 UAH to 90. 6 UAH per ten eggs. Compare with the price in supermarkets now.
I emphasize - this was the price for the whole 2023 year, provided you were delivered to Lviv or Bakhmut. Only in the document published in the media, the anomalous price, which was perceived as 17 UAH apiece, is indicated. What the theory of conspiracy was built on. In fact, it is a common technical error that the supplier made. Eggs are the only category from the catalog that is calculated in the annex to the agreement.
The supplier indicated the price not of the piece, but for the weight of the eggs, when he transferred the data from one table, where everything was brought to a unit of measurement by weight, to another table. According to the standards of kilograms of eggs, it is about two dozen pieces, depending on the grade (the weight of the egg by standard should be from 42 g to 60 g). The price of 170 UAH per kilogram of eggs is 85 UAH per ten.
That within the indicators of other suppliers and fully corresponds to the market price. The Bokarius Institute has been the recommended price 90 UAH per ten. Everyone can weigh a kilo of eggs and calculate how many pieces it is. "Eggs for 17 UAH apiece" The Ministry of Defense did not buy and plans. I want to pay attention to the chronology of events. At the end of December 2022, the Defense Ministry concluded contracts for providing food services with suppliers.
Based on the conclusion of the contracts, my profile deputy held a meeting at which he heard the head of the relevant unit. The error of the company with the transfer of pieces in kilograms was noticed when some technical errors in other contracts. After that, the head of the unit was removed. I emphasize - in late December.
At the meeting of the Committee, I will demonstrate to the People's Deputies the official letter of the supplier company, which recognizes the mistake and asks to make the appropriate changes. MPs will see that only in the contract, which is published in the media, the table shows the unit of measurement - "kilogram". Everyone else is either the catalog price or the combined price per kg/pc.
The supplier asks to correct the mistake, because as a result of an error under the contract, he should supply chicken eggs to the army for 17 UAH per kilogram. If you look quite formally, correcting this mistake, we increase the price of eggs ten times - from 17 UAH to 170 per kg, from 0. 85 UAH apiece up to 8. 5 UAH apiece or 85 UAH - for a dozen.
Currently, additional internal checks are completed under all contracts, military units are verified with the catalog, technical errors are corrected, additional supply agreements are being prepared within the proven parameters of the state budget, etc. The documents will then be registered in the State Treasury. That is, there is no de jure published in the media yet. No penny was spent. The statements that the Ministry of Defense "stole" or "tried to steal" billions is a full delusion.
Just someone learned about additional checks and decided to launch an information attack. Sixth. The question of me most often - why did it come out now? Public throwing information about twice or three times high prices began in the middle of last week. That is not after, but to Ramstin, it was when the arrangements continued. The one who handed over one of the contracts and annexes for publication committed at least a official crime. This person will necessarily be installed and held accountable.
For this purpose, the corresponding materials in the SBU were prepared. In particular, the motives will be clarified. Since there is no factual component in the claims, in addition to manipulations, the most obvious goal is an attempt to undermine trust in the Ministry of Defense at a very responsible moment. And this is not just an official crime. One way or another, to remove all questions, I guarantee the absolute transparency of the Ministry of Defense for law enforcement.
At my request, the Chairman of the Committee Oleksandr Zhitnevich invited NABU and DBR representatives to be "on one page". I will also suggest that the People's Deputies consider the creation of a temporary investigative commission on the procurement process if they consider other instruments of parliamentary control. This will create an additional load on the Defense Ministry, but we are ready to go for it. Because they are confident in their correctness.
I voiced my position repeatedly: zero tolerance for corruption. It was at my initiative that the State Judicial Service started checking the Ministry of Defense. If it is proven that one of the officials is abused, he will answer the law. The Ministry of Defense is not the first time undergoes an artificial information attack under a fictional reason. This is very similar to last year when we dealt with a monopolist.
There was something like this in the fall when a number of assets that are critical for defense capability were handed over to the Ministry's Office. We were absolutely unreasonably attacked in the summer when rumors spread about insufficient control of weapons. That is, nothing new. Therefore, we do our own - to provide the Armed Forces comprehensively, to protect the country. Whoever the initiator of this is, I want no illusions.