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Paper critical of Western call on Ukraine to stop selling arms to Macedonia
Serbianna ^

Posted on 02/27/2002 8:39:07 PM PST by Lions

Paper critical of Western call on Ukraine to stop selling arms to Macedonia

Under Western pressure to stop arms shipments to Macedonia, Ukraine is facing a choice between lucrative contracts and closer ties with NATO, a serious weekly has said. Meanwhile, Russia is standing by to fill th niche on the Macedonian arms market. The following is the text of the article by Valentyn Badrak, published in the Ukrainian weekly Zerkalo Nedeli on 23 February:

Ukraine's relations with the West are getting closer to deadlock day by day. The year 2001 witnessed reorientation to Russia in foreign policy. Ukraine gave preference to the Asian vector of cooperation over the Western vector at a time when geopolitical laws dictated the need to continue European integration. It should be continued even it remains mere declaration, but this declaration should become more pronounced an up to date. A more colourful design is needed.

The West understands this, too. While in the past, Western leaders appeared to make steps towards Ukraine to counteract Russia, by 2002 it has become clear that Ukraine needs the West more than the West needs Ukraine. Otherwise, Kiev would never free itself from the Eastern neighbour's embrace.

Those among the Ukrainian military who understand very well that integration by helmet is less painful than any other kind and would be more welcome in Europe than Ukrainian aircraft and missiles, are coming up with new initiatives. It looks as if Kiev's application to join NATO could be among such initiatives. They want to make Ukraine the 10th member of a special programme for NATO candidates, The Member Action Plan, even if it means Ukraine losing the funds allotted to it under the [NATO] special partnership charter, not to mention Moscow's reaction.

But even this intention may fail to impress Western partners who have come up with one very tough demand. An assumption made by Zerkalo Nedeli in the previous issue has unfortunately been confirmed: the USA and NATO are going to come up with a condition, according to which the Ukraine-NATO commission session at the highest level would be possible in Prague in autumn only if Ukraine stops military equipment supplies to a certain Balkan country.

Trustworthy sources in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry are saying that Kiev is very likely to stop military-technical cooperation with Macedonia. The experts are saying ironically that a recent trip to Kiev by the secretary-general of the Council of the European Union, Javier Solana [on 21 February] was a success. This was the last and the weightiest argument. Official Kiev is expected to announce its decision very soon with an eye to forthcoming meetings with EU military leaders, where Ukraine's proposals concerning participation in the European defence initiative should be accepted in exchange.

The USA and NATO insisted Ukraine to revise its military-technical policy in relation to Skopje last year. But Ukraine managed to stand its ground, practically for the first time ever. Now the situation is complicated again. The problem is not the new Ukrainian-Macedonian contract on the shipment of 20 armoured personnel carriers, discussed by experts, but rather the very fact of Kiev's disobedience.

We shall not go deep into the chronology of military and technical cooperation. Quite recently, during the 14-16 January visit to Kiev by Macedonian Army Chief of Staff Lt-Gen Metodij Stamboliski, Kiev and Skopje agreed to launch an enterprise to repair armoured vehicles in Macedonia with Ukraine's assistance. According to an earlier agreement, Ukrainian experts were to assist Macedonia in setting up not only a repair station for armoured vehicles, but also a plant to repair aircraft. The development of military-technical cooperation concerning air defence, radar systems, ammunition and other kinds of arms and equipment was not ruled out in the future. Ukraine upgraded most of the 95 T-55 tanks which Bulgaria handed to Macedonia in 1999 at the Kiev based Ukrainian Defence Ministry's armoured vehicles plant.

In March 2001, Macedonia received from Ukraine two Mi-24 combat helicopters and four military transport helicopters Mi-8 of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's helicopter squadron which participated in the peacekeeping in the Balkans. In the beginning of July 2001, it was reported that Ukraine additionally handed over to Macedonia four Mi-24 and four Su-25 attack aircraft of the Ukrainian air force. At the moment, the Macedonian army consists of 16,000 active servicemen (no more than 10,000, according to alternative sources) and 60,000 reservists. Stamboliski said in Kiev that his country was counting on Kiev's assistance in the training of Macedonian military specialists to repair armoured vehicles and ammunition, communication systems and air defence means.

Macedonia is planning to spend 125m dollars on the modernization and professional training of its army over the next five years.

The issue of military-technical cooperation with Macedonia has grown into a political problem for Ukraine. Kiev has been balancing for as long as it could, as Macedonia and a sympathetic Greece could serve as a floating bridge first for the military sector and, in the future, for the entire Ukraine. Macedonia has already backed several Ukrainian initiatives, including the participation in the council of defence ministers of southeastern Europe.

But have NATO and US defence advisers measured their pressure carefully? Ukrainian leaders are getting seriously disappointed with the West, although, as in the case of the Bushehr contract [under US pressure, Ukraine withdrew from a multi-million contract to supply turbines to Iran], they do not dare to argue. The irony is that if Kiev stops the military-technical cooperation with Macedonia, this niche will soon be filled. And it is not hard to guess who will fill it. The same arms will continue to flow to Macedonia, but this time from Russia. Will Brussels benefit from this? In this case, Kiev will eventually decide that cooperation with the West is possible only at the level of declarations for the next several years. If so, [Ukrainian President] Leonid Kuchma's recent slip of the tongue, when he said that it was a mistake to bet on the West, may become Ukraine's new slogan.

Source: Zerkalo Nedeli

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
Hand over the Nukes Russia...........................
1 posted on 02/27/2002 8:39:07 PM PST by Lions
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To: Black Jade
2 posted on 02/27/2002 9:01:50 PM PST by Fish out of Water
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To: Lions
FYROM as a sovreign nation and member of the UN has every right to obtain weapons for its self defense. My countries actions preventing FYROM from doing so against Albanian terrorist-rebels disgust me as an American.
3 posted on 02/27/2002 9:12:29 PM PST by Spar
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To: Tropoljac
Was this your view for Croatia as well when it was under an arms embargo?

Was Croatia a target for a foreign aggression at the time of embargo? As I recall, its army was supplied with everything including field officers by some private organizations. A whole heck of embargo.

5 posted on 02/28/2002 7:18:31 AM PST by Alexandre
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To: Spar
Your country, and some of your country men (not all) dont understand the real issue about balkan politics, especially Macedonian history, and the stuggle its people have had over the last 500, ottoman empire, serbian/bulgarian/greek occupation, partition, etc, etc.....If the USA really understood the real background of MACEDONIAS current problems, I am confident that they will even hand over some Nukes to Macedonia. Just to put the picture in perspective, USA is appox 450 years old (I think), thats about half the age of some of the Macedonian monastries that have been blown up by Albanian terrorists.

But then again, as I have commented in some of my other related posts, I really feel sorry for those living in the USA as I can see another S11 comming in the future.

Once again, poor American politics will lead to another few thousand innocent deaths. May god have mercy on your souls and send to hell those responsible for your deaths......

6 posted on 02/28/2002 6:01:38 PM PST by Lions
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To: Tropoljac; Alexandre
Last year Yugoslavia and the ex republics signed a treaty that fixed borders and assets. What Croatia and the rest did through their "independence" was as wrong as what South Carolina had done. Croatia and others should have negotiated an end and not sought to leave Yugoslavia like a theif in the night.
7 posted on 02/28/2002 7:50:48 PM PST by Spar
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To: Lions
My personal hostility toward FYROM in no way negates the obvious wrong I feel was and is done to that nation by NATO and the Albanians. It dishonors the USA.
8 posted on 02/28/2002 7:55:47 PM PST by Spar
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To: Spar;enrg
So why do you have hostility towards "FYROM" , or should I correctly say Republic of Macedonia.......

Could it be because you are a prosfiga, or just plain arrogant, or maybe one of those that cant accept the truth.

For all other republic readers, the term prosfiga, refers to the population exchange that happened in Macedonia , or should I incorrectly say Northern Greece. When Macedonia was split up in the beggining of this century, between, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria, many of the Macedonians were expelled from Greece. Whilst this was happening, all Greek muslims were part of a population exchange with Turkish Christians. These two peoples basically swapped lands. All the Muslims from Greece went to Turkey, and all off the 1.5 million Christian Turks were settled in the macedonian occupied part of Greece. These Christian Turks are now known as prosfigi. This is a very offensive term to many people that now claim that they are Macedonian or should I once again incorrectly say Greek Macedonian........I dont know what many people think, but I cant see a Greek Macedonian country on the world map!!!!!!!!!

The Macedonians from Greece had to find there own place to live and Moved to upper macedonia (and other parts of the World), or Better know now as Republic of Macedonia

To put all this in a nutshell, some of the People living withing the occupied part of Macedonia on greece find it hard to accept that they are not really what they are and have to compete with the real Macedonians living in Greece and Macedonia for an identity. In saying all this, the real greeks living in lower greece/athens, refer to these people as Vulgaros (Bulgarians), not to use the term Macedonia because of certain interests of land. They use the term Vulgaros because they speak a slavic language, hence MACEDONIAN......

I feel sorry for them....maybe spar and his type should go back to Turkey and claim their real ansestry. In saying this I dont mean any disrespact towards Turkey, its just at the time they did what they had to do.

Have a good weekend

9 posted on 02/28/2002 8:24:12 PM PST by Lions
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To: Lions
Not even close. Good for a laugh though.
10 posted on 02/28/2002 10:58:31 PM PST by Spar
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To: Spar
Now I know how it feels to be laughed at. Something that you are much used to..............
11 posted on 03/03/2002 2:23:27 PM PST by Lions
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To: Lions
You are more than laughed at. You and your "nation" are pitied.
12 posted on 03/03/2002 7:00:35 PM PST by Spar
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To: Spar
Whatever...........Spar"row", as long as you think so......."WINNER"
13 posted on 03/03/2002 8:01:08 PM PST by Lions
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

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