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Ukraine leader calls for new domestic military doctrine

Ukraine needs to draft a new variant of a state program for development of armed forces and development of weapons and military hardware, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Nikolay Lazarenko/TASS
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
© Nikolay Lazarenko/TASS

KIEV, October 15. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he believes that the country needs a new military doctrine. “We should work out changes in the military doctrine immediately,” the Poroshenko said on Wednesday, introducing newly-appointed Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak in the Defense Ministry.

The country’s army needs rearming, Poroshenko said. "Ukraine needs to draft a new variant of a state program for development of armed forces and a state program for development of weapons and military hardware, because our military are fighting with weapons made during World War Two and sometimes even World War One," the Ukrainian president said.

New defense minister

On October 14, the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, has approved the appointment of Stepan Poltorak as the country’s new defense minister instead of Valeriy Heletey, dismissed on Sunday. 

President Petro Poroshenko nominated Poltorak, 49, for the post on Monday. Poltorak had been the commander of the National Guard since April 15.

Late last week the presidential press-service said that Poroshenko had accepted Defense Minister Heletey’s resignation. According to the statement, the president believes “time is ripe to replace the leadership of the Defense Ministry.”

Presidential adviser Yuriy Lutsenko said on the Inter TV channel that Poroshenko last week inspected a number of military units and defense industries and visited the zone of the military operation in the east of Ukraine, so his decision was the final point of that logical succession.

“The president believes that Heletey has accomplished his task. Now there should be a new minister expected to address different tasks. These tasks will be fundamentally different, so there will be a fundamentally new defense minister,” Lutsenko said.

Using truce to raise combat readiness

President Petro Poroshenko said the truce in Ukraine should be used to raise the country’s combat readiness. “We should effectively use the regime of cessation of fire to improve defense installations and raise our army’s combat readiness,” Poroshenko said during a working trip to the west Ukrainian city of Lviv.

He said “Ukraine has transferred its economy to military footing and will provide everything possible for the Ukrainian army to be stronger”.

The Ukrainian president said he will “submit plans to reform the Defense Ministry and to raise Ukrainian army mobility to the Verkhovna Rada by the yearend”.

Major reforms planned in Ukraine

In September, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko made public a program on reforming the country under a slogan “to create good rules instead of bad ones”.

Poroshenko told a news conference that the strategy of Ukraine’s development until the year 2020 envisaged about 60 reforms which “should be launched almost simultaneously”.

“When we were talking about reforms, we got advice not to start the reforms in all the spheres at the same time but we will do it in another way,” the president said.

The priority tasks are announced as anti-corruption renewal of the power, judicial and tax reforms, strengthening of the defense sector and Ukraine’s energy independence. The leading theme will be “Ukraine’ popularization across the globe.”

The long-term state program envisages a major overhaul of the country’s governmental machinery by 70% and a flow of direct foreign investment to reach $40 billion in the period 2015-2020. The strategic indicators determine that Ukraine is to enter the list of top 20 countries best for business (now 99th on the Forbes list) and its GDP per capita to climb to $16,000 (now $8,500).