Ukraine Asks UN to Put an End to Kolchuga Investigations

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko appealed to the UN Security Council for consideration of the fact that Ukraine is accused of supplying the Kolchuga radar systems to Iraq. He says, the problem is to be considered in the network of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 concerning Iraq. Ukraine disagrees with the conclusions made by a group of American and British experts saying that Ukraine failed to provide enough evidence to prove that it had no connection to the Kolchuga supplies to Iraq. That is why the Ukrainian foreign minister insists that “the UN Security Council should put an end to the problem, as the Council is an influential international authority which is authorized to settle problems concerning the sanctions.” According to Radio Liberty, the Committee is to hold its session today, November 11; in addition to the Ukrainian problem, Yugoslavia’s illegal weapons sales to the regime of Saddam Hussein are to be on the session’s agenda as well.

Illegal sales of the Kolchuga radar systems to Iraq was started at the end of September after an official appeal of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to the UN Security Council. According to the Ukrainian Internet source,, the USA asked the Committee to postpone discussion of the Hauberk problem in order to let American and British experts hold an investigation in Ukraine. Even today America is skeptic about perspectives of the UN’s separate investigation. Speaker of the US State Department Richard Boucher said that Ukraine had every single opportunity to provide all necessary information about “Kolchugas” to American and British experts, but didn’t.

He said: “We don’t see that a separate investigation by the United Nations would be particularly productive. If the Ukraine government had wanted to clarify matters fully, they could have done so with the US and the UK team that went out there. They had every opportunity to provide all necessary information that we needed. We asked them follow-up questions, but they didn’t respond. So, frankly what would a UN team open that hasn’t been available to them already?” As PRAVDA.Ru already reported, there are seven follow-up questions put to Ukraine; main idea of some of the questions is already known. US Ambassador to Ukraine Stephen Pifer said during his visit to Kiev on Friday that the USA expected that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma would admit that he had ordered that Kolchuga radar systems should be supplied to Iraq. And the statement concerns the conversation held by President Kuchma and director of the Ukrspetzexport company Valery Malev (who later died in a car accident) on July 10, 2000. Problems discussed became known due to the tapes recorded by former major from the presidential security service, Nikolay Melnichenko. FBI experts investigated the taped conversations and identified that all conversations concerning Kolchugas were authentic. The text of that conversation is available on the Fifth Element site. Stephen Pifer says that the conversation between Leonid Kuchma and Valery Malev is one of the problems to which the USA wants to get an irrefragable answer.

Stephen Pifer said in Kiev that the USA and Ukraine were experiencing a credibility gap which directly concerned the Ukrainian top authorities. At that, he added that the USA was still ready to cooperate with Ukraine. And he also strongly recommended Ukraine Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko to go to a session of the Ukraine-NATO Commission in Prague. When the alliance decided to change the session’s format (it was decided that it would be a meeting of prime ministers, not presidents), official Kiev still hesitated whether it was satisfied with the new format or not. According to the latest comments of official statesmen, it is very likely that Anatoly Zlenko won’t go to Prague. If it’s so, Ukraine and NATO won’t sign a plan of actions, the document which can clear the way to an intensified dialogue. And relations between Ukraine and NATO will be frozen for half a year at least. To tell the truth, currently Kiev has to think about quite different things.

Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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