Monday, August 23, 2010

Ukrainian government approves army development strategy

August 20, 2010 (UKRINFORM). The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the army development strategy for 2011-2015 and submitted it to the president, Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel has said. The minister noted that the document suggested a number of quantitative and structural changes in the composition of the Armed Forces. In particular, it is planned to reduce and optimize the operational command, corps and other military bodies, he added. Before 2015 it is planned to reduce the army's strength by 20% and use the existing weapons without the introduction of the newest models, Yezhel said. The minister said that the strategy envisaged a gradual transition to a professional army. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council held in July, criticized the work of the defense minister, but did not raise the question of his dismissal. Instead, the National Security and Defense Council issued a number of instructions to Yezhel in order to improve the situation. It was decided to consider the activities of the Defense Ministry at a meeting on August 20, but it was postponed on August 19.