Iryna Vereshchuk, a Ukrainian MP (Servant of the People) and government envoy to parliament, has said the abolition of military draft will allow Ukraine to create professional Armed Forces in line with NATO standards.
Commenting on the relevant statement by Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk, as well as on possible time frame for the creation of fully professional Armed Forces, she said: "Zagorodnyuk says it will not happen now, this year and even next year," according to the Ukrainian online news outlet Obozrevatel.
"The strategic goal is the transition to a professional Army by NATO standards. We must strive for this. Public and government discussions in this regard have been going on for years: who is more effective on the battlefield – a professional soldier or an 18-year-old conscript who was called up after school and immediately deployed," Vereshchuk said.
Vereshchuk says military draft cuts should be correlated with a buildup of the professional Army of contracted troops.
"We realize how much it takes to train someone to become a professional... NATO standards require major investment. Professionalization requires expenses from the state budget," the MP said.
"If we're talking professional Army, the number [of troops] should decrease. […] We live in line with regulations drafted back in the Soviet Union. We must now do our best to save lives of our servicemen and achieve victories on the battlefield... A professional Army shouldn't be larger. There will be no need for this, because now wars are fought with combat drones and IT. [Governments] are doing their best to save the lives and health of their soldiers," she said.
According to Vereshchuk, the Army is now becoming more professional.
"I'll cite an example of the Spec-ops Forces. They were founded after hostilities broke out and they have proved effective," she added.