George Kruchkov, PM, head of National Security Committee and Defense of Verhovna Rada of Ukraine, considers he will be able to work with the new secretary of defense. At the same time, in the interview to the ForUm's correspondent, Kruchkov told that he did not approve all the steps which were undertaken in the field of reformation of the Ukrainian army. In particular, Kruchkov spoke about service by contract very negatively.

George Korneevich, as a man who knows about the problems of military industry not by hearsay, tell us about your attitude toward new Secretary of Defense.

The minister is a very strong analyst; he served in an army, worked in a general staff, in the analytical management, in Council of national security and defense. So, he has a clear idea about army. But he does not have experience in command work. He needs help. And we will try to support him.

But at first I had to disprove his statement concerning reducing army service term from 18 to 12 months and army transfer to professional basis at 2010 year. There is no such law, not even a project. We can talk about intentions and plans only.

How do you think, can Anatoliy Gricenko's deny to be restored in the official rank influence negatively on his reputation among soldieries?

He does not need to be restored in the rank. He was and remains a colonel. As conception about civil secretary of defense was accepted, there is no need to obtain getting of a new title. It seems to me that his position corresponds to the status he has.

How do you personally regard contract army service?

I am against it. Remember, what we think about army service before. This was a school of courageousness and moral education, school of physical preparation. If a fellow did not serve out in an army, he considered to be not normal. But today we are losing army as the institute of education.

Besides, it is necessary to give contract army a good endowment. And now a soldier earns less than 500 gryvnas Even if we augment this sum twice, it will be scantiness in comparison with other countries. We are not ready to create the real contract army and scarcely will be in the near time.

To your opinion, is it realizable to shorten the quantity of army to 120 thousand men by the time fixed? What does the new minister of defense say?

It can be shortened without difficulties, on the stipulation that social defense guarantees are observed. By initiative of committee, a law about the state guarantees to the servicemen which retiring from military forces on account of their reformation was accepted. If this law acts, the situation will be soften.

How do you think, can the hasty withdrawal of the Ukrainian peacemakers from Iraq bring to that Ukraine will lose everything, that managed to attain in times of staying in this country (prospect of getting economic dividends, etc.)?

First of all, we do not take out our peacemakers hastily, but step-by-step.

Secondly, certainly, the top political management will discuss these questions with other participants of coalition, foremost with Poland and the USA, which, frankly speaking, look with an unfavourable eye at our decision. Therefore, probably, a process will be long and not simple. Somebody says that the real term for the withdrawal of our troops is one year.

Thirdly, let us look, what Ukraine obtained, since made decision to participate in peacemaking operations in Iraq. We sent people there, because Americans Kuchma, and he wanted to hold his post at least to the end of his term.

I was there and I can imagine a situation. Thank heavens, our boys are not considered as invaders. But we already sustained losses. We supposed that road to post-war renewal would be opened. But it is not. Russians did not send troops, but road is opened for them more than for us. Frenchmen, Germans, Belgians did not send -road is not closed for them. We lost nothing. When post-war renewal of Iraq starts, they will call us, because we participated and left good impression.

How will the peacemaking activity of Ukraine develop? Recently in Russia the special subdivision for participation in peacemaking operations was created. Do we plan something like this?

Ukraine is a member of U.N.O. It assumed certain responsibilities and duties. It means that Ukraine will participate in peacemaking actions as well as in other ones. There is no necessity to create some special institute for this purpose as this system is worked through. We participated more than in 10 peacemaking actions.

The interview was written down by Bugar Alex,  ForUm


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