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Yatsenyuk: Kiev hopes for NATO assistance in upgrading Ukrainian army

April 03, 2014, 18:14 UTC+3 KIEV
“The question of membership in the alliance is not on the agenda now,” parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk adds
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© EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

KIEV, April 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Kiev hopes for NATO’s assistance in upgrading the Ukrainian army, parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

He told the BBC on Thursday, April 3, that “the question of membership in the alliance is not on the agenda now”. “We are talking about cooperation and technical support in order upgrade the army,” he said.

Parliament-appointed acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said on April 2 that Ukraine was facing a strategic task of rearming its army.

Oleksandr Turchynov admitted that the Armed Forces had been financed by the leftover principle in recent years and “were systematically destroyed on orders from another country, disarmed and the best personnel dismissed” over the past four years.

Now the army “is basically rebuilding itself” and over a short period of time it has “been put in a state of full combat readiness”, Turchinov said.

“Rearming is now on the agenda,” he added as he was inspecting new samples of weapons - from firearms to tanks - made in Ukraine. He said “these are samples of Ukrainian weapons, the best weapons that will protect our country”.

Turchynov believes that the Ukrainian defense industry can sustain the full production cycle and will get government orders.

He stressed that rearmament “is a strategic task that must be fulfilled”.

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