President Viktor Yushchenko on Saturday attended a ceremony to swear in new recruits of the Kyiv Presidential Regiment and said in his speech Ukraine’s armed forces would be staffed exclusively by enlistees after 2009, president's press office reported.

Yushchenko said “lots of steps must be taken” and nearly UAH 47 billion spent to convert the national army into a professional force. He said the government was going to raise pensions and allowances paid to soldiers and marines and equalize salaries at all law enforcement bodies.

“We must spare no effort to have a highly technological force, a strong Ukrainian army. This is a task for all,” he said and added that he worked hard and every day to develop the army.

Yushchenko described the recruits as a “unique generation which can fulfill its holy duty of guarding and defending its fatherland.”


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