Ukraine will need 9.8 billion U.S. dollars to man its army with contract servicemen by December 31, 2010, Defence Ministry Yuri Yekhanurov said on Saturday, according to Itar-Tass.

He said the manning of the army with contract servicemen and the improvement of combat training would be the main tasks for the Defence Ministry in 2008.

By the end of the year, the Navy and signal troops will be manned with contract servicemen. Similar work will begin in the Air Force.

“Land Forces will make the transition to contract servicemen within

three years,” Yekhanurov said.