The leadership of the state, namely the President, the Speaker, and the Prime Minister will take a decision on further development of the Armed Forces on January 16. This was disclosed by Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov Tuesday, Cabinet press service informed.

Among the major issues to be discussed are transition to a contract-based army by December 31, 2010, modernization of the army and appropriation of the necessary budget funds for it.

The Minister noted that he will report to the President on the status of the long-term program of transition to a contarct army. "The transition will cost UAH 49.6 bn. That's why the president tasked us to draft a budget of the Defense Ministry proceeding from 2.5 percent GDP growth estimate. We have drafted it based on 2-percent estimate," he said.

Yekhanurov also reminded that the previous budget of the Ministry totaled UAH 10 bn. However, this figure is insufficient in view of inflation and all the tasks assigned to the ministry by the head of state. "That's why the leaders of the state must decide tomorrow what to do next," the Minister concluded.


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