Ukraine is planning to downsize its armed forces, while at the same time strengthening its military combat capabilities, according to Defence Minister Mykhaylo Yezhel.

“Reform of the armed forces will not be confined to personnel reductions, but will ensure the maintenance and strengthening of their battle potential,” he said.

The government proposed in mid-July that the armed forces be downsized by 20% to 150,000-160,000 personnel within five years, though the size of proposed personnel cuts was not indicated.

According to the proposal, military spending is also expected to grow at a rate of 15%-20% a year by 2015.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces currently have about 200,000 personnel, according to