Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a national security bill on Thursday, July 5.
“This is an important landmark for the reformation of the entire country, primarily the defense and security sector. The main thing is that through this law we are firmly emphasizing Ukraine’s course towards European and Euroatlantic integration. We are confirming that our state, the Ukrainian nation, has clearly made up its mind about our future – it is a future in the family of peoples of the free world,” Poroshenko’s press service cites him as saying.
The president said that he will discuss this law with the US Defense Minister. He also emphasized that Ukraine is now expecting additional defensive and financial assistance from the US.
The law entails a limitation of the roles of the chief of general staff and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. The chief of general staff and the commander of the Joint Forces will be subordinate to the commander-in-chief. The commander-in-chief will be the highest ranked military officer in the Armed Forces, and will be appointed and dismissed by the president.
Furthermore, according to the law, the defense minister will be chosen by parliament from civilian candidates put forward by the president. Civilians will also be appointed as the first deputy and other deputy ministers. This rule concerning the appointment of the defense minister and his deputies will come into force in 2019.
The rules concerning the commander-in-chief, the General Staff and the separate types of troops will come into force in 2021.
The law also gives parliament control over the activity of the Security Service of Ukraine.
A committee of the Verkhovna Rada will be created which will control the activity of the special state organs with law enforcement functions, special law enforcement organs, and intelligence organs.