Poltorak hopes Verkhovna Rada will pass law on Ukraine's national security in H1 2018

Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak notes the importance of the bill on the national security of the country and expects that the Verkhovna Rada will be able to adopt this legislative initiative already in the first quarter of this year.

"We are determined that (preferably) the parliament adopt this law in the first quarter," the minister told the Ukrainian service of the Voice of America.

He recalled that on January 17 at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine the draft law on national security was considered and approved, "which will be submitted to the Verkhovna Rada in the near future."

"It clearly defines all the priorities that correspond to the Strategic Defense Bulletin, where it is clearly defined that the new civilian defense minister should be appointed from January 1, 2019," Poltorak said.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis noted the priority of the law on national security of Ukraine and urged the authorities of the country to take this initiative as soon as possible. "He expressed his hope that the Presidential Administration and Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, take swift action and pass legislation that ensures a solid legal basis for the implementation of defense reforms in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine," said the head of the Pentagon at a meeting with Poltorak.

As reported, on January 17, the National Security and Defense Council discussed and approved the draft law on Ukraine's national security, which should lay groundwork for drafting and upgrading the national security and defense legislation.

According to NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, the law on Ukraine's national security should summarize all the reforms of the country's security and defense sector that have already been implemented and are to be implemented, as well as combine not only the basic foundations of national security, but also the issues of democratic civilian control and the principles of planning in these spheres.

He said that the bill was aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the activity of all elements of the security and defense sector in accordance with the norms and standards of NATO and the EU. "The speedy adoption of this bill should be an important element in the sphere of protecting Ukrainian statehood and counteracting Russian aggression," Turchynov said.