Ukraine Needs $16.3 Bln USD For Army Reform: Official

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine needs about $16.3 billion U.S. dollars over the next 5 years to restructure its armed forces, senior defense official said here Monday.

Ukrainian army troops, on parade.

"We need funding for the formation of a more compact, professional, mobile, well-trained army, which would correspond to the European standards," Director of the Finance Department of the Defense Ministry Ivan Marko told a press briefing.

Under the reform blueprint, Ukrainian government plans to replace outdated weapons and military equipment, increase budget for combat trainings and peacekeeping operations and shrink the size of the troops.

Defense officials also mull slashing the number of officers and military contractors to 70,000 from the current 192,000 by 2017.

Source: Xinhua