We appreciate that U.S. stays side by side in our fight - president (Photos)

We appreciate that U.S. stays side by side in our fight - president (Photos)

Ukraine appreciates the fact that the United States stands side by side with the country in its struggle, President Petro Poroshenko has said. 

"We much appreciate the fact that the United States stays side by side in our fight," the press service of the head of state quoted him as saying in his speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday.

Poroshenko noted that the leadership and president of the United States had currently established themselves as strong and reliable advocates of international law.

"Your country remains the world's leader in providing practical assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces," Poroshenko said, adding that Ukraine's military expenditures have already exceeded 6% of GDP - "a figure much bigger than the obligation for the NATO members."

The president stressed that with the help of the United States Ukraine had managed to build up "a completely new Ukrainian army that is capable of stopping the Russian army - one of the strongest in the world."

"We do appreciate the advice provided by our American partners on security and defense reform, in particular, General [John Philip] Abizaid, who is also a West Point graduate," Poroshenko said.

The head of state recalled the state of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2014 and a legal provision denying access for NATO experts to Ukrainian military institutions.

"I do not need to say what forces were behind this norm. In consultation with our parliament, I ordered immediately to repeal this norm. Thanks to that we can now work together on the reform of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," Poroshenko said. He also added: "I am proud that we together, in a very short period of time, less than three years, built up one of the strongest armies on the continent."

The president also invited representatives of the West Point Academy to join a military education project in Ukraine through partnership with a Ukrainian military institution.

"We are waiting for you in Ukraine, where you can learn more and get your own experience of a hybrid war," he said.

The president provided examples of successful military cooperation between Ukraine and the United States and said that battalions trained by U.S. instructors were showing the best tactics and the lowest level of losses during the fighting.

"Thanks to the technical equipment already provided by the United States, the victims among Ukrainian soldiers have significantly decreased, and thanks to new defensive technology, we can save more lives, both civilian and military," Poroshenko said.


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