New Defence Minister appointed


Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has nominated Stepan Poltorak as the new Minister of Defence after the resignation last Friday of Valeriy Heletey.

Stepan Poltorak (49) has served in the military since 1983, graduating from the Ordzhonikidze Higher Military School, Kirov Academy of Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In 2002 he was appointed head of the Academy of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine in Kharkov and in February 2014 was made Commander of the Internal Troops of Ukraine and the National Guard of Ukraine.

The formal announcement as published on the President’s website is as follows:

“President suggests appointing Stepan Poltorak to the post of Defense Minister

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko submitted for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada the candidature of Stepan Poltorak to the post of Defense Minister.

In the course of the meeting with the candidate, the Head of State mentioned high organizational skills and authority of the Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine Colonel General Stepan Poltorak. “The main thing for me was your professional and patriotic position, decency, resolute steps on the elaboration of the National Guard system, discipline in troops and firm morale,” he said addressing Stepan Poltorak.

The President stressed that the authority of S. Poltorak among servicemen had become a strong factor for him while making the given decision. “I communicated with generals, soldiers, commanders of battalions. These conversations convinced me that I will make the right choice,” Petro Poroshenko said.

According to the Head of State, the Ukrainian army is in new conditions now. “We are implementing the Peace plan, building powerful, deeply echeloned defense, rebuilding the supply and logistics systems of the army. The issues of international cooperation, including military-technical and military cooperation with our partners from the EU, the United States and other countries, are being discussed at much more different level,” the President noted.

Stepan Poltorak expressed gratitude to Petro Poroshenko and noted that it was a great honor for him to lead the Armed Forces in such a difficult time for the country. “Powerful army is a guarantor of peace and I will do everything possible for our army to be really strong, rapid, productive, prepared and technically equipped,” Stepan Poltorak stated.

The President also informed that in the evening at the meeting with leaders of deputy factions and groups on the eve of the parliamentary meeting of October 14 at which a series of important bills for the country would be considered, he would insist on the adoption of the Law on Anti-Corruption Bureau suggested by him that would help overcome corruption, particularly in the army.

Stepan Tymofiyovych Poltorak is a Ukrainian military, Commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, former Commander of the Interior Troops of the Ministry of the Interior of Ukraine, Colonel General, Candidate of pedagogic sciences, docent.”

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