President Viktor Yushchenko on March 28 paid a visit to Vasylkiv (Kyiv region), where the 40th Fighter Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force is located. President’s press office reports.

President got acquainted with brigade’s mission and objectives, as well as its organization and duties. He also viewed the aircrafts and other equipment used by the brigade. Viktor Yushchenko was shown latest national enterprises’ elaborations in modernization of the Sukhoi Su-25 attack planes and Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter planes, Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer aircrafts, Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters and radar stations.

Communicating with journalists in President Yushchenko said that 2008 military budget should “become a budget of development”. According to President Yushchenko, current budget, which foresees 5 percent financing growth compared to the last year is unacceptable. The need to increase army funding is moreover needed regarding transition of the Ukrainian army to contract base.

Within the framework of his visit to Vasylkiv President Yushchenko performed a flight in Sukhoi Su-27 jet fighter. The flight lasted 35 minutes with deputy commander of the Air Force of Ukraine Major-General Vasyl Nikiforov in control of the plane.

After the flight President Yushchenko said: “I felt that the plane is extremely controllable; it appeared to me that it was performing all elements very obediently. There was no discomfort”.

In his visit President was accompanied by Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov


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