About 40,000 employees from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including high-ranking officials, will be axed in the next five years says chief of general staff General Hryhoriy Pedchenko.

“We will make serious cuts in the administrative apparatus, starting from the general staff including unnecessary logistics support units,” he said.

Ukraine, which currently employs 200,000 armed forces personnel, is planning the 20% cuts for the period 2011-2015 in order to reduce military expenditure, according to RIA Novosti.

The Defence Ministry has plans for a military cooperation with NATO in 2011 and intends to carry out more than 20 joint projects with the alliance next year.

Ukraine has taken part in the Nato Partnership for Peace programme since 1994.