Yatseniuk: Ukrainian army to switch to contract service, de-facto become part of NATO
Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has said that one of the Cabinet's goals and priorities in 2016 is to ensure a transition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to a contractual form of military service and effectively integrate the army into NATO.
"In reality, we are switching to a contractual army, and de-facto the Ukrainian Armed Forces must become NATO members, they must fully meet the standards and criteria of the North Atlantic Alliance," he said at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, listing the goals the government has set itself for 2016.
Speaking about the Cabinet's plans of reforms, Yatseniuk listed large-scale transparent privatization of state-owned facilities and the adoption of respective laws as the first step. This concerns Odesa port-side chemical plant, Centrenergo, regional power distribution companies and other facilities whose privatization is not allowed, but they are not of strategic importance for state security.
Yatseniuk said that such companies should be put up for sale at auctions to "attract the investor, create jobs and boost the country's economic potential."
The next task of the reform is to further de-regulate the Ukrainian economy and relax administration and leverage over the economy.
"The third thing is the reform of the State Fiscal Service," Yatseniuk said.
Among other directions of changes in Ukraine is judicial reform, namely the adoption of a bill on amendments to the Constitution in part of the judicial system in a second reading with the simultaneous adoption of a new law on the judicial system and status of judges.
"Then goes the European Union. An agreement on the free trade area has already been signed. The full implementation of the agreement on the free trade zone is needed," he said, pointing to the need for the adoption of laws needed to introduce free travels to the EU.