Skip to comments.U.S. Probes Ukraine on Iraq Radar
Posted on 10/13/2002 6:32:35 AM PDT by Brian Mosely
KIEV, Ukraine, Oct 13, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- U.S and British experts were scheduled to arrive in Kiev Sunday to investigate whether Ukraine sold a radar system to Iraq in violation of U.N. sanctions.
The Kolchuha radar system can detect approaching aircraft without tipping off their pilots. That would give a boost to Iraqi air defenses, which face U.S. and British warplanes patrolling "no-fly" zones amid U.S. threats of attacks on Iraq.
The U.S. State Department said last month that it had verified the authenticity of a July 2000 clandestine recording by a former presidential bodyguard in which President Leonid Kuchma is allegedly heard approving the sale of a Kolchuha radar system to Iraq for $100 million.
The investigators will meet with top Ukrainian officials and visit arms-related sites.
The Ukrainian government has denied any transfer of military technology to Iraq, saying that its arms exports are regulated by a system of controls created with the assistance of U.S. and other Western specialists.
Kuchma appointed his chief of staff, Viktor Medvedchuk, to head a special commission, including top military and arms control officials, to work with the U.S. and British experts, following a visit by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth two weeks ago to press Kuchma to cooperate with the investigation.
The United States is considering punitive measures against Ukraine and has already suspended $54 million in aid to the government as part of an overall policy review. Ukraine is the fourth-largest recipient of U.S. aid, receiving some $230 million annually.
Time to consider more serious sanctions like bombing the Ukraine.