Ukraine will operate a fully professional army by 2015, according to the country’s defence ministry.

Personnel policy department head Major General Serhiy Kropyvchenko said the full transition of the Ukrainian military forces from a mixed recruiting system to a new model based solely on contracted service will be complete by 2015, according to RIA Novosti.

Currently, 52% of soldiers operating in the country’s 200,000-men armed forces are professional.

The Ukrainian military also serves under NATO command in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean.