President Victor Yushchenko took part in celebration of the 17th anniversary of Ukrainian Military.
Congratulating military men on their holiday President Yushchenko said that Ukrainian army has always been and will always be basis, guarantor and protector of our country’s independence.
According to him this year has unearthed new challenges for Ukraine and the world, the challenges “that seemed buried deep in the past”. Here President repeated that stable and protected Ukraine is possible only if our country’s sovereignty is guaranteed by the international community, therefore there is no alternative for Ukraine but to integrate into European collective security.
As another threat to Ukrainian interests that requires military protection President named sea piracy. “We must use our own military and technical means to protect interests of our citizens, of our state and of our society”, - he said.
Speaking about reforming Ukrainian Armed Forces, Victor Yushchenko repeated that here main course is towards professional contracted army. “We heard assurances that it can be done in 12 months or even half of the year with one stroke of the pen and without sparing a dime for that. Populism is a very bad thing though and bad advice too. We have long and hard work before us”, - said President Yushchenko.
At the same time President noted that improvement of professional level in Ukrainian army and its combat readiness is impossible without toughening discipline and responsibility and without strengthening national spirit among military men.
After his speech President presented national decorations to servicemen.