BUDAPEST, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mykhailo Kutsyn told a meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) military chiefs of staff that his country would like to join the military corps the V4 plans to set up in 2016.
Hungarian Chief of Staff Tibor Benko announced the move at a media briefing following the two-day meeting of V4+Ukraine military leaders on Thursday at Balatonoszod, about 100 kilometers from Budapest, according to Hungarian News Agency MTI.
The chiefs of staff of the V4 countries plan to recommend that their governments officially invite Ukraine to join the military corps, Benko said.
The V4 intend to conduct V4-EU military exercises to connect with NATO's Trident Juncture exercise in 2015 and its Response Forces exercise in 2016.
Benko pointed out that cooperation with Ukraine had always been close. While it is not a NATO member, Ukraine has participated in Partnership for Peace initiatives, he said.
"There is no doubt that when Ukraine needs support, we will jointly provide it," he said.
Kutsyn said that European security was currently undergoing a "pressure test" following Russia's moves.
"Our job now is to be heard and resolve the security problems together with our friends," he added.
Ukraine boosts defense budget amid eastern unrest
KIEV, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine had increased its defense spending for 2014 by 22 percent in response to the tensions in the eastern part of the country, a senior military official said here Thursday.
"Today, the overall budget of the Defense Ministry totals 20.1 billion hryvnyas (around 1.72 billion U.S. dollars)," Deputy Director of the Defence Ministry's Finance Department Sergei Vinnik told a media briefing. Full story