KIEV, December 26. /TASS/. Almost 70 advisors from NATO member countries work for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said on Tuesday.
"A total of 66 foreign advisors from 14 NATO member countries work for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Defense Ministry, six of them are top-level advisors," the defense minister wrote in his Facebook account in comments on the activity of his agency in 2017.
According to Poltorak, ten battalions, 25 squadrons and more than 1,400 instructors have been trained this year in accordance with NATO standards. Also the number of brigade and battalion tactical exercises has grown this year, he wrote. A total of 112 command-and-staff exercises have been held under NATO standards, as well as 32 brigade tactical exercises and 12 tactical flight trainings.
He said Ukrainian military drills "use 668 NATO standards, and 40% of Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff structures have been brought into compliance with the typical structure of NATO's command units".
A reserve of 140,000 persons subject to military service has been set up, and the Armed Forces have received 1,400 pieces of armament and combat hardware, he said, adding that 19 new weapon systems and hardware have been adopted.
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said earlier that in 2018, military spending will grow by 25% to make up about 86 billion hryvnias (about $3.2 billion).