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Ukraine needs 16.3 bln USD for army reform: official


19:51, June 17, 2013

KIEV, June 17 (Xinhua) -- 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.

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Under the reform blueprint, Ukrainian government plans to replace outdated weapons and military equipment, increase budget for combat trainings and peacekeeping operations and shrink the size of the troops.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

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