Victor Yushchenko attended a ceremony in Kyiv’s Ukraine Palace to mark Militia Day on decenber 20, president's press office reported.

In his speech, the President said it was important to profoundly reform the country’s law enforcement system, “democratize and depoliticize our militia.” He added it was necessary to continue creating a “European Interior Ministry,” which can fight organized crime and ensure security of our citizens. 

Yushchenko said one of the prerequisites for successful reforms was staff stability, especially at the top level of Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies.

“I cannot tolerate this political fuss and bustle, particularly on the appointments of the deputies of the [Interior] Minister,” he said. “My major demand is to ensure staff stability.” 

The President thanked ex-Minister Yuriy Lutsenko for “fruits of his work.”

“I urge the newly appointed minister, Vasyl Tsushko, to continue the instituted changes and sincerely wish him success, firmness and scrupulousness,” he said.

Speaking about challenges facing the ministry, Yushchenko said it was important to fight corruption and investigate banking and land crimes. He said the militia “cannot be a hostage and a mechanism of a political struggle or conflicts between government and business.”

The President said it was incumbent on the ministry to restore the people’s trust in what it does and make sure that Ukrainians feel secure.

“Our citizens cannot accept this low culture and morality in the law enforcement agencies. It is a real, tough challenge, whose nature is Soviet,” he said. “You can and must ruin these stereotypes.”

He thanked militia officers for performing their professional duties.

“Dear Ukrainian militia officers, the President of Ukraine has been and will be your reliable partner,” he promised.   


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