Zelensky says to bring Ukrainian army up to NATO standards

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised to bring the Ukrainian Armed Forces up to NATO standards, the press service of the president’s office said on Friday.

“We will do everything to implement much-needed changes for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We will use not the words but deeds to bring them closer to NATO standards,” Zelensky was quoted as saying to the servicemen in the East of Ukraine on the occasion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Day.

The Ukrainian army should strengthen its training and combat effectiveness, said the president.

Ukraine seeks peace in Donbas through diplomatic means, but negotiating is always easier when the country’s army is strong and can back the diplomats, Zelensky said.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine Day is celebrated on Dec. 6 each year since 1993. It has gained new importance since the ongoing conflict in the East of Ukraine started in April 2014.