KIEV, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s final military draft before its armed forces switch to a contract basis in line with the country’s European Union aspirations began on Tuesday.
Speaking to participants of military exercises in Ukraine’s western Lvov Region, President Viktor Yanukovych said the military reform was an “inalienable part of the [country’s] strategic course for European integration.”
“Ukrainian servicemen, just like all Ukrainian citizens, will feel the benefits of this policy,” Yanukovych said, according to comments released by the presidential press service.
Ukrainian independent news site ForUm quoted the president as saying that 60 percent of the country’s military personnel were already serving on a contract basis.
“An ordinary military conscript is not able to receive high-quality training in such a short period. We should realize that our soldiers in the armed forces are dealing with modern weapons, electronic equipment,” the president was quoted as saying.
Ukraine is set to sign a series of landmark trade agreements with the European Union, including a free-trade deal, during the Eastern Partnership summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in November.