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    Ukrainian army soldiers perform a military exercise at a training ground outside Zhitomir, Ukraine

    Ukraine Needs $4.6Bln Annually to Maintain Contract Army

    © AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
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    Ukrainian defense minister’s aide Yuriy Biriukov said that more than $4.6 billion] is required to have a contract army.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Ukraine’s Defense Ministry estimates that it will need an annual budget of more than $4.6 billion to maintain a contract army, the defense minister’s aide Yuriy Biriukov said Tuesday.

    "More than 100 billion [hryvnias, or $4.6 billion] is required to have a contract army, with the ratio of contractors at 60 to 40," Biriukov told Hromadske TV channel.

    The country’s struggling economy cannot afford a fully professional army at the moment, the ministerial aide indicated. He said there were currently over 50,000 contract soldiers in Ukraine’s army ranks.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier ordered Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak to prepare preliminary estimates of what it would take to switch to a contract military service, as well as create a new system of army training and enrollment schemes.


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