The NATO partners commend the results of the military reform in Ukraine and highlight the vigor, with which Ukraine tries to master the NATO standards.
"The Allies highlight Ukraine’s vigor and desire to master the NATO standards. They are ready to scale up ongoing support and provision of the resources to strengthen our defense capabilities. This applies, in particular to the training of troops, the sale and supply of modern weapons, the development of military infrastructure. Special attention will be paid to the development of the Navy and the air capabilities of our country," Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said at a meeting with journalists in Brussels following his visit to the NATO Headquarters, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.
The minister told about the bilateral meetings, which he held during his visit to the NATO Headquarters with the colleagues from the USA, Canada and Romania to discuss the further development of military and technical cooperation.
"During a meeting with U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, we agreed on the key measures for adoption of a decision by the U.S. Congress on allocation of the second tranche of security assistance [to Ukraine]. A significant part of this resource will be directed to the needs of the Naval Forces, strengthening the coastal infrastructure in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov region," the Ukrainian minister said.
According to him, Ukraine, in cooperation with the American partners, will also pay particular attention to reforming the military administration system in accordance with the NATO standards and strengthening the ability of the Defense Ministry to exercise democratic civilian control. In addition, during the meeting, the United States confirmed the intention to assist Ukraine in reforming the military-industrial complex.
"The five-sided meeting with participation of the defense ministers of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Lithuania and Poland was very important. This 5+1 group includes our strategic partners that provide Ukraine with the greatest assistance. I informed the colleagues about the five priorities of the reform of the Armed Forces and the Defense Ministry of Ukraine for 2019, and we discussed their assistance in implementing of these reforms,” Poltorak noted.
He recalled that the first priority concerned the defense management system, including the formation of a modern military administration system pursuant to NATO standards, the creation of modern military administration points and the introduction of automated systems. The main purpose in this context is the high-quality training of future military leaders of the strategic level, who will head the key areas of development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The second priority, the minister noted, is the capability-based defense planning.
"We and our NATO partners will carry out a defense sector review to prepare the strategic documents for the next cycle of reforms after 2020. Here we plan to use specialized support programs and NATO best practices in this process," the Ukrainian minister noted.
The third priority is the optimization of the military procurement system. The fourth priority is the optimization of forces and capacities, which will aim to get rid of redundant or unpromising defense structures.
The fifth priority, Stepan Poltorak noted, is associated with the use of soft and hard power to protect the national interests of Ukraine.
"We have a whole range of activities, which we will carry out with our partners, so that Ukraine can strengthen the capabilities of the Armed Forces and the ability to defend its territorial integrity, its borders, and stop Russia's aggression against Ukraine," the Ukrainian Defense Minister underscored.
As Poltorak noted, the NATO member states stand in solidarity with Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression and express their intention to continue the pressure and sanctions against the Russian Federation to assist Ukraine in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity.