President Victor Yushchenko held a working meeting at Ministry of Defense with Ministry’s leadership. Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko also took part in the meeting, according to the President`s press-office.

Opening the meeting President reminded of priority directions of Ministry’s work. In this regard he expressed his concerns about army’s combat readiness and designated this issue as urgent for Minister of Defense and General Staff.

Particularly President drew attention to insufficiency of Ministry’s financing noting however that increasing appropriations without structural changes within Ukrainian Military would not be effective. Regarding that V. Yushchenko requested the Ministry to enhance rationality of obtained funds use.

Speaking about transition to professional army President warned that current tempo of the work in that direction threatens scheduled creating contracted army by 2010.

V. Yushchenko drew attention to ammunition utilization issues as well saying that no other country in Europe faces such scale of this issue. He also pointed to insufficiency of funds allocated by the Ministry on guarding arsenals of ammunition which requires utilization as well as on utilization programs themselves.

Summarizing the meeting President put a task before Ministry of Defense to conduct a through structural reorganization within Ukrainian military.