(QHA) -

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has tabled for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada a motion nominating Stepan Poltorak-- commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, a former commander of the Interior Troops of Ukraine-- for the post of Ukraine's defense minister, the presidential press service has reported.

At a meeting with the candidate, the head of state noted the high organizational skills and authority of Colonel-General Stepan Poltorak.

"The main thing for me was your professional and patriotic position, honesty, decisive steps on the development of the National Guard system virtually from scratch, discipline in the army, and strong fighting spirit," Poroshenko said, referring to Poltorak.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey, appointed by Poroshenko in July, has resigned from his post.

Heletey received criticism in recent weeks for the deaths of about 100 Ukrainian forces in the eastern city of Ilovaisk, who were encircled by pro-Russian separatists and reportedly supported by Russian forces.