Arms scandal in Ukraine

Source: http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=32119&cid=58&p=05.09.2008

 

 

 

 
A scandal on government-inspired illegal arm suppliesto Georgia gathers strength in Ukraine. The Supreme Rada’s investigative commission, headed byValery Konovalov, has already revealed facts onsupplying arms worth a whopping 200 million dollars tothe Saakashvili regime – money that had never reachedUkraine’s state coffers. Elaborating on that is our observer Alexander Vatutin:The Ukrainian authorities appeared to have done theirbest to render full-fledged aid to their staunchCaucasian ally – a fact that came to light followingthe end of the hostilities in the Georgia-SouthOssetia conflict zone. In the course of a military operation against Georgiancommandos, the Russian military collected imposing wartrophies, including Ukrainian-made T-72 combat tanks,small-arms weapon and ammunition, which
 were usedagainst Tskhinvali’s civilians. This is, however, only the tip of the iceberg. Previously, there were reports about a Russian TU-22strategic bomber being shot down by Georgian airdefense systems. But it is clear that the bomber could hardly bedemolished by mothballed air defenses the Georgianmilitary was earlier equipped with. To all appearances, the Russian high-altitude bomberwas eliminated by the most advanced S-200 air defensesystems, which might well be supplied to theSaakasvili regime by none other than Ukraine. So it is safe to assume that the Yushchenkoadministration added significantly to building upGeorgia’s offensive military muscles – acorruption-leaning move that patently rode roughshodover Ukraine’s existing legislation. By the way, a similar sandal recently hitBosnia-Herzegovina, where opposition leaders hadpointed a
 finger at PM Nicola Spiric, who they claimedmight well damage ties with the republic’s close allyRussia by moving to supply arms to Georgia. The Russian side has given solid evidence that duringthe South Ossetian conflict, the Georgian militaryused the state-of-the-art military hardware made notonly in Ukraine but in many other nations from aroundthe globe as well. The Military Prosecutor-General, Sergei Fridinsky,says that Russian peacekeepers seized plenty ofmilitary hardware and small-arms weapons produced bythe United States, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria,Romania and Israel, whose drones, by the way, werewidely used by the Georgian air forces. In a recent interview with the Voice of Russia, aMoscow-based noted military expert lamented the factthat so far there had been no international law whichcould bar a nation from supplying arms to the conflictareas. Alexander
 Pikayev added that in this sense,each country is keen to stick to its own policyprinciples. Regrettably, an international document to prevent anation from supplying arms to the conflict zones hasnot seen the daylight yet, Alexander Pikayevcomplains. At the same time, he adds, there are currently severalEU accords that say a firm no to EU member states’involvement in the matter. That means that bysupplying arms to Georgia, EU members violated theirown agreements, Alexander Pikayev contends. It remains to be added that the current scandal seemsto be the first link in the chain of exposures thatwill certainly shed enough light on who moved tosponsor Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia.

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