23 Nov 2018 15:10

Ukrainian Defense Ministry administration to become civilian by end of year - Poroshenko

KYIV. Nov 23 (Interfax) - Civilians will take charge of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry by the end of this year, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

"Ukrainian Gen. of the Army Stepan Poltorak has become the first serviceman to surrender his rank and become a civilian minister. The entire administration of the Defense Ministry will do the same by the end of this year," Poroshenko told students at the National Trade and Economics University in Kyiv on Friday.

The Defense Ministry will be headed by a civilian starting on January 1, 2019, in accordance with the Law on National Security.

Poroshenko accepted Poltorak's resignation from military service on October 13. He continues to manage the Defense Ministry as a civilian.

The president also told the students that wages of Ukrainian soldiers would increase on January 1, 2019.

"Starting January 1, a soldier will be paid at least 10,000 hryvni, and 21,000 hryvni on the front. This is a decent motivation and remuneration for a Ukrainian soldier's labor," Poroshenko said.

The current exchange rate as established by the Ukrainian National Bank is 27.74 hryvni to the dollar.