President Victor Yushchenko on Sunday said it was important to continue modernizing the national fleet and improve the social standards of the country’s navy officers.

Yushchenko described plans by the government to build warships (Corvette project) as promising. The cabinet of ministers is also going to finance the modernization and renovation of Ukraine’s existing ships, he added.“These are active plans, active life,” he told reporters in Sevastopol, praising “the positive dynamics” of the development of the Ukrainian battle fleet over the past 15 years.

The President said Ukraine’s naval forces “worthily represent the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” thanking the navy officers for their participation in worldwide peacekeeping operations.

Yushchenko said his government annually increased spending on the naval forces by 20-25% and characterized the apartment issue as one of the acutest problems of the country’s navy, with 2-2.5 thousand officers waiting in line to get a free flat. “So this issue will be a separate budget program and its implementation will be overseen by the defense minister and...supreme commander in chief.”

Yushchenko said the annually growing military budget would be spent on social programs and salaries, as the President’s press office reports.


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